Don’t stop, it’s puppy time!
Hey all, When it comes to making decisions, it is important you choose wisely and do your homework. Even if it is for something as seemingly trivial as choosing a puppy. So without further adieu, let’s get straight into blog 2.0 of Lazarus Real.
Don't stop, it's puppy time
It’s been a hectic past few months building and growing my business, treating my acoustic neuroma, getting over it, supporting my family through the emotional ups and downs and getting straight back to the hustle …….. but as if that wasn’t enough to deal with, we have started the process of looking for a dog!
Yeah, so I know what you all must be thinking? Getting a dog is exciting, what’s so stressful about that? Well, in my family this has sparked some considerable debate because my wife and I have very different opinions on the type of dog we would go for. I am a Staffy (Staffordshire Bullterrier) man all the way, whereas my wife takes a more pragmatic (anything but a Staffy) approach and wants something that will suit our current circumstances, living arrangements, is appropriate for young children and will fit in with our active lifestyle.
So, finding a balance has been Challenge No.1.
What type of puppy? What breed? or Where to purchase your dog?
Challenge No.2 is deciding between a rescue dog, a pure breed, a mixed-breed/cross-breed or “designer dog” (as they are often called) or buying direct from a pet store.
Now I am sure there are many out there that will firmly be in the rescue dog corner (as we were/are), but believe me when I tell you, it’s not that simple. Remember, choosing a dog is a big 10 year plus commitment, so finding a dog to suit your family needs and your living arrangements coupled with your requirements i.e. age (puppy or older dog), sex, temperament, how soon you can get your dog etc. can make choosing a rescue dog that much more challenging.
This brings me to the question of pure breed vs mixed-breed. There is so much controversy and debate around this topic, particularly when it comes to health, so I intend to steer well clear of this for now, but it’s definitely worth noting and something we have factored into our decision-making process.
Then there is the breeder – If you choose to buy direct from a breeder, are they, in fact, operating a “puppy farm” or are they considered to be an ethical/responsible breeder, and what does that even mean? While there is no legal definition I am aware of, it loosely means that the breeder is genuinely concerned about the welfare of their animals. A responsible breeder will want to know that their dogs (puppies) are going to the right home and the appropriate home for their breed. In addition, “ethical’ breeders will be prepared to answer questions you have about the parents, the genetic makeup, will provide references, ensure the puppy has been microchipped, vaccinated and treated for worms, and will provide a health guarantee or contract which stipulates amongst other things, what will happen in circumstances where there are hereditary diseases and/or other genetic problems, what will happen if the dog can no longer be cared for by its owner(s) etc.
One thing we have ruled out is buying from a pet store. I personally do not support this and never will. In fact, after returning to Sydney from London (where we previously lived for the past 5 years) we were shocked to see dogs and cats behind a window at our local pet store. This just wasn’t something my wife and I were accustomed to whilst living in London.
So, while we continue to narrow in on our mission to find our furry family member, I have started to delve into this complicated space and it got me thinking about the ethical dilemmas we all face when choosing that fur baby.
Photo by: Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
Legal and ethical considerations of purchasing a dog
Challenge No.3 is that puppy farming is a major problem in Australia and globally. Many breeding dogs and cats are kept in horrific conditions, cramped in wire cages and give birth to litter after litter, with many not getting the exercise or love they need – it’s the puppies for profit mentality that needs to be put to an end.
In fact, the RSPCA receives thousands of complaints about puppy and kitten farms on a yearly basis, but with limited resources there is not a lot that can be done.
One such state that’s making a bold move to improve the situation is Victoria, where recently, new legislation was passed making it illegal for any breeder to have more than 50 female dogs at any one time. Breeders will also need to seek ministerial approval to have more than 10 female dogs and will be subject to stricter regulations.
In addition, the reforms ban any pet shops in Victoria from selling puppies. These will now only be able to be purchased from registered breeders or from rescue homes or adoption centres such as the RSCPA.
Anyone selling a puppy will also require a registered source number to show where the puppy was bred.
Unfortunately, this legislation is only expected to come into force in 2020.
What are your thoughts and considerations for finding the perfect pet?
So, whilst I am on my mission to find our perfect dog, I want to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts on purchasing a dog, puppy farming, whether you are for or against displaying pet in pet shops, whether they should become adoption centres for dogs that need to be re-homed, what you look for in a breeder and your thoughts on rescue dogs.
With nothing on the cards for NSW at this time, hopefully, the other states will wake up and follow suit. As of now, no registration is required for breeders and there are no formal audits or inspections in place but it’s a difficult industry to regulate.
Feel free to leave comments below and I look forward to chatting.
Thanks again for reading my Lazarus Real blog, where it’s all about “Keeping it Raw, Real and Personal”.