1. “Teacup”. Most dog breeds registries do not recognize this term. Typically it is used by unscrupulous breeders to market dogs intentionally stunted through poor genetics or poor feeding. Many people want cute dogs, and this term implies small and cute. However these dogs are typically riddled with health problems and often have much shorter lifespans than a properly sized dog. “Teacup” Pot Bellied Pigs are something even worse. These poor pigs have bodies which stop growing at a point, but their insides continue to grow. Thus causing immense pain and discomfort, and eventually resulting in an early death. Never support anyone selling “Teacup” pets.
2. “Free Kittens or Puppies”. A free pet seldom is really free, often it is cheaper to adopt one, as shelter pets are already vaccinated, checked by a veterinarian, and have been wormed. Typically the adoption fee is lower than if a person were to take a “Free” pet to a vet and have these things done. Occassionally you will find “Free” adult pets, who have had the medical done, this is a good value provided you have proof that it was done. Equally so, you should NEVER pay for a pet that has none of the required medical checks or vaccinations done prior to the sale. You are paying for an animal that could potentially have health problems.
3. “Designer Dogs”. This is one of the biggest “Scams” going. Designer Dogs are dogs of mixed breed given a fancy name and high price tag. Such dogs are “Golden Doodles” or “Puggles”. In reality you can be sure the dogs are low quality and come from low quality parents. If the parents were top quality they would be breeding registered purebreds. These dogs are sold with ridiculous price tags in an effort for the so-called breeder to make profit selling to unsuspecting new dog owners suckered in by a cute name. Being registered only proves parentage. Un-registered dogs are only worth the medical already done to them prior to the sale. Proof of quality is shown “estimated” by show records of the parents, and genetic tests done on parents.
4. “Flea Collars”. Flea collars are not only very uneffective against fleas, they have been linked to the deaths of many pets. Cats, dogs, kittens, and pups, have all been killed because of the chemicals used in these products. They are still on the market because people make money selling them.
5. “Complete Nutrition”. No food calls itself “junk” they all market themselves as a top food. However there is a huge range between poor and excellent quality in the pet food industry. As a rule if a food is sold in a grocery store, it is a lower quality food. If you see a lot of commercials for a food, it is a lower quality food. If it is priced cheap, it contains cheap ingredients. Lower quality may contain all the required nutrition but the pet has to eat a lot more food to get it. Eating more costs you more in the long run, results in more waste (poop), and is harder on the pet. If a food contains “by-products” you can be sure it is a low quality food. This is only one of the tell-tale signs of poor food, you can research more for yourself. Be warned because even vets do not always sell good food.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons of a cat and dog.