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Paws and Pandemic Profits: The Surge in Dog Breeders Amidst COVID-19

Something that nobody expected to come out of the Covid 19 Pandemic is the unexpected rise of dog breeding.   There became an urgent desire for puppies during the initial quarantine and afterward for some time. This unexpected rise in pet ownership has trickled through just about every pet industry that exists.  None are so affected, perhaps, than the ethical breeders that existed BEFORE the “puppy pandemic”

Why was there a surge in demand for dogs?

 1. Increased interest in companionship:  People were home, many alone, for an extended period of time.  As us pet owners know, the companionship of a pet can mean so much during lonely times.

 2. Remote work and flexible schedules: Even after the initial quarantine, many companies were still running on a work from home model - perfect to train a new furry friend!

3. Emotional support during lockdowns:  It was a dark time for many, and finding comfort in a dog is a common way of dealing with mental health issues.

Breeders Waitlists were Long

People were wanting puppies immediately or as soon as possible.  This led to long waitlists for breeders.  Sweethaven never participated in it, but MANY breeders were also price gouging when they had available pups, making it look like dog breeders are rich people.

Soon the media picked up on the craze, and it lit it like a wildfire.

Soon, people who had never even considered breeding saw an opportunity to “get rich”.  We saw a rise in dog breeders like we have never seen before.    Tens of thousands of people flooded the market all at once.  The Pandemic Breeder was born. 


So What's the Problem?

Sadly, the flooded puppy market came just as families were returning to school and work, leaving thousands and thousands of puppies available with little buyers.   Not only that, but most of the puppies being produced by Pandemic Breeders are poorly bred with little to no health testing, no regard for temperament of parents AND largely sold to more people who want to breed them, thereby further aggravating the problem.

We’ve SEEN some awful things from pandemic breeding:

  • Rampant parvo puppies being sold to unsuspecting buyers

  • Dogs with 4+ breeds mixed in being passed of as a designer doodle

  • Puppy mills ramp up production of their horribly sad, sick puppies

  • Exponential rise in overwhelming behavior problems due to bad breeding and lack of training

  • Exponential rise in GoFund Me campaigns to pay for costly surgeries for the poor dogs who should have never been produced

  • Groomer and animal professionals leaving the industry due to rampant behavioral issues

  • Vet offices having such a  large patient load that some cities have waitlists for vets.

  • People going from1 dog at home to 30 and eventually being shut down by animal welfare.  Sadly, many are still out there amongst the pandemic breeders.

How Do We Combat Unethical Breeding Practices?

By going with a long-standing, ethical breeder.  It is that simple.   If someone began breeding since 2020, become a skeptic.  REALLY look into whether they are truly an ethical breeder.

We can only shut down puppy mills and back-yard and Pandemic breeders if we STOP buying their dogs.

“But those Dogs Deserve a Home Too”

Yes they do.  It is never a dog’s fault that they are born, sick or broken.  However…continuing to purchase them from pandemic breeders and puppy mills will only serve to make them continue to pump out more puppies and enslaving more moms and dads.   By the population refusing to purchase those dogs, they will get dumped at a rescue, and the parents will likely get dumped as well.

In conclusion… careful where you get your puppy.    A puppy at half the price of a reputable breed will look enticing…I get it!   Remember though, that this is a long term investment in your FAMILY; not simply a possession.    You might save a thousand dollars by finding a person who can’t see their puppies and are practically giving them away….but think for a moment about what the future could hold with that pup.    Thousands of dollars in emergency vet bills, hundreds a month for specialty medications, thousands in specialty training to work on their aggression, and possibly the possibility of only getting to enjoy half of the amount of time with them that you might have gotten with a healthy dog.

It is worth it to skip the Pandemic Breeder.

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