One in five people may have bought a new dog from a puppy farm, with millions ending up having to buy pet meds to care for sick animals that are born in these conditions.
That is according to new research by the Kennel Club, which found that 1.2 million dog owners could have got their dog from a puppy farm.
These pets often end up with health and behavioural conditions because of the awful conditions in which they are raised.
Responsible breeders will always show the puppy with its mother in the breeding environment, yet 40 per cent of people who bought from newspaper ads, pet shops or the internet never saw their pet in its breeding environment.
Marc Abraham, celebrity vet and organiser of the puppy farming awareness event Pup Aid, which takes place in London on 8th September, said: "There are very few laws governing breeders and the sale of pups in this country.
"Selling pups on the internet or in pet shops and delivering them direct to your door is not illegal, but it rarely leads to a happy outcome because people are often scammed or end up with a poorly pup from a puppy farm."
He added that the most important thing to do is make sure potential owners see their puppy with its mother in the home environment.