If you are planning to buy a dog this holiday season, or at any point thereafter, try to find a reputable breeder. There are several ways to tell if the breeder is good. According to Howard, the best breeders will let customers meet the dog’s parents, see where they were raised and they will offer customers the opportunity to return the dog if something goes wrong. Perhaps most importantly, you can tell the breeder is good because they will interrogate you to find out if your home is a good fit for their pet. “If a breeder doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, then they aren’t a great breeder,” Howard said.
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Howard and other advocates encourage customers to go one step farther and adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group. “The only way this poor treatment of dogs will end is if people stop buying,” she said. “When there’s no demand, then there will be no need for puppy mills in the future. That’s the best thing you can do for Christmas.” If you’re interested in taking this route, we suggest checking out Web sites like Petfinder and AdoptAPet.com. Not only can you find a list of rescue shelters here, but you can even be selective and find some wonderful purebreds up for adoption, too.
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