How Much Is That Puppy In The Window

puppy in a window

He’s as cute as could be, but be strong and walk on by!!  I’ll bet it’s not for the reason you think!

It all boils down to “drug-resistant bacterial infections.”  The CDC has directly linked these bacterial infections to pet store puppies!!  There have been outbreaks in which dozens of people were infected with the same multi-drug-resistant bacteria.

Here’s what’s happening:  The problem is occurring because those who profit from puppy mill animals routinely give rounds of antibiotics to puppies, even the healthy ones!  They use this practice in an attempt to reverse the effects of poor breeding and housing practices.

The veterinary community is also contributing to the problem of antibiotic resistance by continuing to prescribe unnecessary and too powerful antibiotics.  It is our responsibility as pet parents to insist that the right tests are run before accepting a prescription for antibiotics.

It appears that the national pet store chain, Petland, was responsible for the latest outbreak.  Thirty people were directly linked to puppies from Petland and several from this group were hospitalized – the scary part is that while they became infected with Campylobacteria Jejuni they were found to be resistant to commonly used antibiotics.  What do you do when tetracycline and ciprofloxacin don’t work?

Experts believe that these drug resistant bacterial infections stem from antibiotics given to healthy puppies.  It appears that an investigation revealed that of 149 puppies, 142 or 95% had received one or more rounds of antibiotics before arriving at the store.  Sixteen different types of antibiotics were given to the pups, half weren’t even sick, they were given to prevent illness during transport, including flights or truck containment where they are often kept in deplorable conditions.

The CDC’s report concluded that puppies can be a source of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections in humans.  These poor animals are born and bred in disease-ridden, high-stress environments such as puppy mills and factory farms.  The majority of puppy mills are filthy operations in which animals are subjected to cruel treatment and inhumane living conditions.

Research shows that giving animals antibiotic for only a week or two can produce antibiotic resistance.  Most antibiotic prescriptions for dogs and cats are for a minimum of 21 days.  We must remember as pet parents that like in humans, viral and fungal infections do not respond to antibiotics.  Be sure to have your vet test prior to administering antibiotics.

If you’re considering getting a puppy, please don’t buy one from a pet store since most of their inventory is from puppy mills.  Also avoid purchasing a puppy on-line from an internet seller.  When people stop doing business with puppy retailers the mills will go out of business.

Consider getting your next pet from a local animal shelter or rescue organization.  There are millions of wonderful deserving pets waiting for a forever home.  And should you desire a specific breed of puppy, I would suggest you look to the for reputable breeders – go visit their kennel, even ask for references of former customers and call to be sure the puppies are healthy and strong.  A new pet is such a wonderful addition to any home, investigate before purchasing and avoid the excessive costs and heartbreak that a sick puppy could bring.


*Some facts are quoted from Dr. K.S.Becker, “What’s So Bad About Pet Store Puppies? Plenty

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