Puppy farming - a vet’s perspective

By Ian Futter, Chief Veterinary Officer, Scottish SPCA

As a vet I’ve seen first-hand just how much pain and distress puppy farmed dogs can cause owners.

Usually when someone buys a puppy from a puppy dealer, they don’t know exactly what breed they are buying. Often the mum/dad shown are not the puppy’s parents at all, and are just a show to hide the horrible bodily condition of the breeding bitches.

Inbreeding often takes place which passes on a lot of undesirable traits which may not become apparent until the puppy grows up. French bull dogs and pugs are the breed of the moment and intensive breeding on a farm can cause them terrible respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, which is often a result of inbreeding.

Owners are often unaware and take on these animals which not only cause them emotional pain, but they also take on an unexpected financial cost.

It’s stressful enough being a puppy and when you’re a puppy on a puppy farm there can be hundreds of other dogs under the same roof. This increases the spread of infection which results in these puppies becoming unwell very quickly, usually within the first week or two of rehoming. This is because the stress of a new environment can put pressure onto their immune system so any underlying infection starts to surface and cause real health problems. This leaves new owners with a very sick puppy who needs to go to the vet quickly.

The worst thing that anyone can do is knowingly buy a puppy farmed dog because they feel sorry for it. All this does is encourage the farmer or dealer to keep selling and producing puppies in this way which isn’t good for the welfare of the breed or species.

It is very hard to walk away from these puppies, and we know people want to give them a better life, but you not only take on a huge problem for yourself, but will also produce a problem for more people.

If we all decide to #SayNoToPuppyDealers then these farms would go bust overnight.