Buying A Puppy Online | How Puppy Mills Sell Online

Home / Buying A Puppy Online | How Puppy Mills Sell Online

If you are thinking of adding a puppy to your home and family, here is what you need to know.

Online puppy mills create beautiful websites that make them look like loving breeders. The reality is quite different. Please read below to learn about puppy broker websites, puppy scams and why it is in your best interest to go to the breeders home and meet the mother dog. 

What is a puppy mill?

Puppies are not delivered by the stork, since your pup will live to be 10 plus years old, it is in your best interest to know where your dog was born. You need to see for yourself or you will never know, the condition in which it was bred and raised or the condition of the mother dog. Buying a puppy sight unseen over the internet is very risky. Puppy mills are large or small dog breeders that breed puppies for profit. The mother dogs are breeding machines, kept pregnant, their only job is to make puppies. They are usually kept in cages 24/7. Worst of all, they are denied proper vet care. They are not groomed, given proper exercise nor do they know the touch of a loving hand.  So many are living and breeding with painful untreated conditions. The general public really can not imagine this kind of cruelty, but it exists because of money. Whether it is one dog suffering, twenty or hundreds, it’s cruelty no one should want to support. Puppy mills lurk on the internet, selling their lucrative cash crop of puppies on puppy broker websites, social media pages, online classified ads, and social media group pages. Puppies sold from puppy mills can be sick, most are not properly socialized due to being sold at young ages. An unsocialized puppy can have behavior problems for the rest of its life.

So, how do you avoid contributing to this cruelty? Never buy a puppy from a pet store, no matter what they tell you. It is commonly known that pet store puppies are puppy mill puppies. Meet the mother dog before buying a puppy. It’s that simple. If you can’t meet the mother dog, and see where and how she lives…….don’t buy the puppy. Responsible breeders have nothing to hide. They are proud of the way they raise their puppies. Don’t fall for puppy millers common tricks of deception. They will say yes, you can visit the kennel. But when the time comes to actually visit, they will offer excuses such as saying they will save you the trip because they will be in your area, or they will want to meet you in a parking lot. Know what red flags to look for. Read below.

Thinking of buying a dog online? In 2020, people buy everything online, but think about it, a dog? There are many reasons why this is a problem.  First, dogs are a major purchase, just like a house or a car. A dog will be with you for 10 or more years. Therefore, it’s very important for you to see for yourself where the dog is coming from. You should meet the mother dog to see her condition and where and how she lives. The temperament of your dog is very important. When dogs are taken away from their mothers too soon, they miss important steps in early development that can lead to anxiety and behavior issues for life. If you can’t meet the mother dog and see where and how she lives, don’t buy the puppy. Also, see our testimonial page.


Puppies for sale onlineIf you are looking for a puppy on a website that sells hundreds of puppies please read this.
A website selling dogs for many breeders is what we call a puppy broker website. The website simply provides the template and web traffic for any person/breeder to upload photos and easily sell puppies. These websites offer different packages or monthly subscriptions to puppy sellers so they can create an account and instantly sell dogs. It’s that easy. Some of these sites have puppy concierges that will help you choose the puppy and arrange for it to get to you. These are nothing more than commissioned salespeople working to fill their monthly puppy sales quota. They focus on getting the puppy to you so you don’t think about going to see the mother or facility it was born in. These sites all say they don’t like puppy mills or have a no puppy mill promise but there are ways around that. It’s all in the fine print or the way they word their breeder standards. Most state that all of the puppies are health checked by a vet before they are shipped to you, that statement is also misleading. Health checks are nothing more than the papers the dogs need to cross state lines. They are required to have those papers to travel. They are not “health checks” like you would get from your vet during an office visit.

Why consumers should avoid buying puppies from websites, puppy broker websites and social media pages.
Since these are live animals and are going to be a part of your family for the next 10 plus years, it is important to see where the puppies are coming from. If you don’t want to support cruelty and you want a healthy well adjusted puppy, it’s important to know the real history of the dog’s background. We constantly say, if you can’t meet the mother dog and see where and how she lives, don’t buy the puppy. One of the biggest red flags you should look for is the person selling the puppy refusing to let you visit their kennel. They will have many of excuses why you can’t visit, but responsible breeders have nothing to hide and are proud of how they raise and keep their dogs. Puppy mills come in all shapes and sizes, but the bottom line is, they make money selling puppies. Most likely, the mother and father dogs are living an inhumane life, the mothers kept pregnant every breeding cycle, producing puppies for profit. Most consumers never think of the parent dogs, they are only focused on the puppies. But the condition of the parent dogs will reflect on the health and temperament of the puppy for years to come. Learn more.

I am searching for a “doodle” dog.
Doodle dogs are the rage these day just like Puggles were 15 years ago. There are people breeding doodle dogs of every kind and most are only in it to capitalize on the current rage. We highly discourage buying these mixes. The mother dogs are bred over and over again for their puppies. There are websites and breeders that only sell “doodles” or say they specialize in “doodles.” Amish puppy mills are known breeders of popular dogs and especially doodles of every kind. Most likely they will never let you meet the mother and see where your pup was born. This is a red flag! Lastly, Doodle dogs are thought to be “hypo allergenic” but that is a myth. There is no such thing as a “hypo allergenic” dog.

Beware of pet scams, where you wire the money and never receive the puppy.
Internet scams cost consumers billions of dollars every year. And puppy scams are very common. Scammers will build a beautiful website and offer puppies for sale, puppies that don’t even exist. They offer the puppies at a lower price or even free, but charge for the shipping. At first, the “breeder” is very good at communication, answering all of questions about the puppies. Then, you decide which dog you want and wire the seller money. That’s when the problems start to arise. Sometimes, the seller just vanishes. The number they gave you was from a burner phone and you’ll never hear from them again. The bottom line, you never receive a puppy because the puppy never existed. Read this story.


I found A breeder on a social media page or group that was from another country. The Puppies are cheaper.
The puppies are cheaper for a reason. You have no way of knowing where the pup is coming from or the condition of its mother. The puppies are taken from their mother too early, put in a crate and shipped via air to the buyer in another country. But along the way, many disasters can occur. The puppies can go days with no food or water. No one is looking out for them. Imagine putting a human baby in a crate and shipping them cargo around the world. It’s dangerous and inhumane. Another problem, many of these sellers are scams. They will ask you to pay via wire transfer and you have absolutely no way to retrieve your money or your puppy. There are no laws to protect you. Buying online from a foreign seller is a sure way to not only end up with a sick dog, but a good chance you’ll end up with no dog at all.

How to avoid a puppy mill. What to look for.
Responsible breeders want to meet you and encourage you to visit their home to see where the puppies and mother live.
Then it’s up to you to do your homework. Do the dogs look happy, well adjusted, are not afraid of people? Are they living in a clean environment?
Are the dogs living the way you would keep your dog. How many different types of dogs does the breeder breed? Do they always have puppies for sale? Do they only have puppies on the property, if so they most likely are puppy resellers.
Ask for references from other families that have bought puppies from the breeder as well as vet references. Does the breeder use Paypal or other quick payment methods? Does the dog come with a contract? Responsible breeders will always take their dog back if ever you are unable to properly care for it and offer a health guarantee. A good breeder cares where their puppies are going to live. If the sale is all about the money, think again about that breeder.

Adoption is a great option.
There are so many myths about adopting a dog. Shelter dogs are not broken dogs. In fact, most dogs that end up in shelters or breed rescues are there because their humans could no longer care for them. People lose jobs, are forced to move, didn’t realize the time commitment etc. There is nothing wrong with shelter dogs. Shelters are full of great dogs. And if you are looking for a specific breed, there are hundreds of breed specific rescues that can help you find the dog you want. And the great thing about adopting a dog that is a little older, you can better judge everything about them. How big will they really get? What is their temperament? Are the active or lazy? You can find hundreds of dogs within a day’s drive from your home on Petfinder.com, the website for shelters and rescues. So before you buy, please go to Petfinder.com and think about being a hero by providing a forever home to a dog in need.

Questions? Email us at info@stoponlinepuppymills.org