A third of owners may need to buy pet medication for their dog because they were bought from a puppy farm instead of from an accredited breeder.
According to the Kennel Club, one in three people may have bought their dog from a puppy farm. Research found that of 1,000 owners, 14 per cent bought their animal from a pet shop, seven per cent used the internet and 16 per cent responded to an advert in a local paper, reports the Press Association.
All of these outlets can be used by puppy farmers, so the Kennel Club is launching a campaign to encourage people to spot the signs of an irresponsible breeder.
Puppy farmers breed too many litters and keep animals in poor conditions. Many puppies are likely to suffer from poor health and behavioural problems.
Marc Abraham, Kennel Club veterinary adviser, is quoted as saying: "There is now an alarming trend which is seeing breeders view dogs just as commodities without any regard for their rights as living creatures. People wouldn't buy a car from a dodgy dealer, offering no MOT or service documents, but sadly people don't ask for the similar assurances from a dog breeder."
People buying a dog should see the puppy in its breeding environment if they were not raised in the breeder’s house. They should never pick up a puppy from a 'neutral location', such as a car park, as this is a sign that it is from a puppy farm.