There are several responsible options to choose from when looking for a new dog, including pet stores, private breeders, shelters and animal rescues. The source you choose for your new pet will depend on your individual circumstances, such as the breed of dog you would like to own or your geographic location.
There are many reasons for choosing a puppy from a pet store, including:
1. Pet stores provide healthy puppies. The preeminent study by Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine on the health of puppies from various sources demonstrates, on average, pet store puppies are as healthy as, or healthier than, those from any other source.
2. Pet stores and their sources for puppies are regulated at the state and federal level. Pet stores and breeders are the most regulated sources of pets. Pet stores and their puppy suppliers must comply with federal, state or local laws including care standards, veterinary treatment, socialization and exercise requirements, among other things. Private breeders and internet sellers have no regulation or oversight at all.
3. Pet stores provide consumer protection and satisfaction. Pet stores are an accountable, traceable source for pets. An overwhelming majority of pet stores provide warranties on the dogs they sell, often backed up by specific legal requirements. These laws frequently don't apply to other sources of animals, so pet store customers enjoy greater protection.
4. Pet stores help owners find the best breed for their lifestyle. Pet store visits ensure compatibility. Pet store customers have the convenience of easily visiting the store as many times as necessary to physically interact with their prospective pet, and ensure compatibility and a responsible choice. Do you have allergies and require a specific breed? Does your lifestyle mean you need a small or large dog, or that an active or less-active breed would suit you best? Pet stores typically offer a wide choice of breeds that may not be available from shelters, rescues or private breeders. Due to this service a pet store may be the best choice for finding the breed you prefer.
5. Pet stores address declining pet populations. Many shelters are now importing dogs from foreign countries to fill the demand. Without pets, there is no pet industry. With mandatory spay and neuter laws, shelter populations will continue to shrink. If consumers are limited to a shelter only population, where will pets come from in the future?
6. Pet stores are not the source of unwanted pets in shelters. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy report found that 96 percent of relinquished pets came from somewhere other than a pet store, and 70 percent of the time the reasons owners relinquish a dog or cat to a shelter could have been prevented with consumer education. Most pets in shelters were acquired for less than $300, most free.
7. Pet stores add to the local economy. Reputable pet stores are established businesses in the community. These legitimate businesses bring steady tax revenue and build the local economy with owners purchasing: supplies, veterinary services, grooming day care, etc.
8. Pet store bans can open underground markets. Preventing responsible pet stores from selling pets opens the door to an underground, unregulated market. While pet sale bans frequently begin with dogs and cats, other animals can and will be added to the list of banned pets.
9. Pet store bans do not address animal welfare issues. Those who truly care about the welfare of animals work to raise standards of care and eliminate pet providers who don't maintain acceptable standards. Blanket pet sale bans do not advance the standards of care for pets.
10. Pet stores rely on customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is paramount in any successful business. Pet stores facilitate the pet ownership experience, relying on repeat customer business and customer satisfaction. Providing healthy, well socialized pets are not only the right thing to do, it is a good business decision.