Option 5: A pet store
I must admit that, of every place listed in this article, a pet store is my last choice for anyone to get a puppy. Having worked in a pet store, I can say from personal experience that the puppies in the store do not usually come from reputable, responsible breeders who care about the puppies they breed. They are usually breeding for money and are usually breeding in bulk, meaning they either have multiple breeding pairs and/or multiple breeds of dogs. Also, many pet stores get puppies from puppy mills.
Puppy mills are places where breeding males and females are kept in small cages by the hundreds and are there to do nothing more than breed. The females are kept pregnant all the time and their living conditions are horrifying. The dogs are often times forced to live in their own feces and usually never step foot outside, let alone on grass. Once a female can no longer breed, she is killed.
To purchase a puppy from a mill or from a pet store that gets puppies from a mill is to condone the puppy mill industry. I know, first hand, how hard it is to pass by a pet store and not want to buy every puppy inside with their paws and wet noses pressed up against the glass but, please, resist the temptation to buy. A puppy from a pet store, depending on how long they’ve been there, can be extremely difficult to potty train or socialize. The long-term health of the puppy is sketchy, at best. Many times, the puppies in pet stores are riddled with disease and often have debilitating defects that only appear later down the line, a year or so later; like hip dysplasia.
Another down side to buying from a pet store is the hugely marked up price. Most pet stores will at least double the price of the puppy from what they paid the breeder to purchase the puppy in the first place. Also, I have never known a responsible breeder to ever sell their puppies to a pet store for the plain and simple fact that a responsible breeder would want to know where their puppies are going. No breeder would ever just give a puppy to the first person they see with money. They care too much for the puppy and its well being to just sell them to anyone.
Please, be wary of pet stores and do your best not to support the puppy mill industry. The one exception to this rule is pet stores that work in conjunction with local shelters. Often times you will go to a big pet store and they have dogs and puppies up for adoption. These situations are far different from the pet stores that are selling puppies at a marked up price for a profit. If you consider the adoptions going on at your local pet store, refer to option number 4 as to the pros and cons.
other pet store puppy article