We’ve all done it, and I’m probably the most guilty, at least when it comes to my “desire”. After all how could anyone resist that cute little face and wagging tail of that precious pet staring out at your from his or her cage and/or as your walk by the storefront window.

Still, some experts suggest that pet shop purchases should be avoided at all costs, regardless of how much you want to give him or her a good and loving home.

1. Health hazards: That puppy in the window sure looks cute, and it’s supposed to. In fact, experts suggest that these adorable pets are placed strategically where you can easily see them in an effort to spur impulse purchases by the public. And, while encouraging you and me to take these “little guys and gals” home is a good thing, experts note that these loveable pets are likely to suffer for health problems once they are purchased. They suggest that when it comes to pet store pets, you may not know what you are getting, since more pups parents aren’t screened for genetic diseases that can be transmitted and that you and I may have to deal with. With that said, they recommend having your pooch/pet tested prior to making your purchase

2. “False” Assurance: According to experts storeowners would like you to believe that if your prospective pup is registered by the American Kennel club, his or her health is “guaranteed”. But, that, say experts, is not the case. In fact, the only assertion such certification offers is that the pup is purebred and an “offspring” of AKC registered parents. But, they add, even this “guarantee” is no guarantee since some producers register more pups than are actually born to each litter, just so they can get additional slips that they can “attach” to unregistered pups. Also, the pups parents may be unhealthy or carries of unhealthy genes that they may have passed along to their brood. And, often times your pup, since the paper trail is so thin, don’t even guarantee lineage or that your pooch is a pure breed.

3. Petshop “promises” : Experts note that many pet shops like to make customers “empty promises” when they are buying from them. In fact, they suggest that while they make all kinds of assurances about your new pet, if there are any “problems” the best they will offer is taking the pup back and giving you a new one in its place (not necessarily a healthier one, just a new one), while most likely euthenizing the one you brought in, since it’s, more often than not, cheaper than treating it. The other common scenario, is the pet shop encouraging you to take the puppy home and giving it time to grow out of its current condition,. In the meantime you guarantee comes closer and closer to expiration.

4. Growing “pains”: Ironically enough, while you may have “fallen in love” with your pooch the minute you saw him or her, you have little assurance about what he or she will look like or act like once he or she is grown. They go on to add, that reputable and trustworthy breeders will not only tell you about your pups parents, but allow you to see, at least, the mom, and will be ready, willing, and able to discuss the pooch’s “shortcomings and well as his or her strengths.

5. Lack of information and/or education: According to experts, pet shop workers lack the knowledge and information necessary to give you confidence about your puppy. They add that it’s important to know if a particular pooch is right for you and your family, information that a good breeder will be able to provide, including information about the needs of the dog, its temperament and how it will fit into your lifestyle; as well as potential health risks that may be inherent to the dog and/or the specific breed.

6. Cage Conundrums: Keep in mind that the pup you are purchasing has likely spent most of its often, short, life in a cage and are use to eliminating in the same space where they eat and sleep. And, this may post a “problem” with “potty training”. Experts suggest that good breeders will maintain a clean “housing” area for the pup, making it easier for him or her to be trained. They will also take an active role in teaching pups how to walk (on a leash) and how to sit still for grooming, two procedures not likely to be practiced by pet shop owners and workers. Last, but not least, good breeders will do their homework, before breeding their brood, whereas most pet stores only care about producing puppies.

7. Social setbacks: Pet shop pups may not have the social skills it takes to comfortably settle into your home and into your lives. According to experts, good breeders will attempt to socialize their pups before purchase, whereas pet shops may not. And, they add, that exceptional breeders will even know the personality of each pup and how well “it” will adjust to your and vice versa. In addition, good breeders are prepared to help “new family members” make educated decisions about their new family member and how her or she can and should be taken care of.

8. Valuable lessons: Experts suggest that many store owners exaggerate the “pedigree” label of their pups, when it reality, it is just a title, unless, of course, you know the parents of the pup and his or her breeding lineage. In fact, they add, that the pet shop owner knows “just as much” about your pup as you do. On the other hand, reputable breeders offer you more than just a “title” but instead a detailed and specific history of your pet, giving you ALL the information and confidence you need to take your new “baby” home

9. Factory work fiasco: Experts suggest that pet shops are “notorious” for obtaining their pets from puppy mill, those who mass produce these pets with money as their main motive. They assert that most are not “pure bred”, and that they are typically kept in extremely questionable conditions and sans medications and/or vaccinations. In addition, puppy mills are known for getting their dogs from those in a hurry to rid themselves of the pups and some are even occasionally stolen from their owners, while females are often bred every heat cycle until they are too exhausted to breed and can then be sentences to death. And, while not all store owners may have “bad intentions”, experts suggest that most reputable breeders are reluctant to sell puppies to stores but would instead prefer to sell on their own and ensure their pooch gets a good home. And, they want to keep track of their brood, often times also checking in, answering new owners’ questions and doing follow ups. On the other hand, once the sale is made, the puppy and all his or her follow-up and/or potential concerns become YOUR problem, and more often than not, it’s all about the profit.

10. Aftercare: Experts suggest that when it comes to pet shop protocol, what happens to a pup is generally your responsibility. And, even if YOU approach them, it’s likely they can or willing to help. On the other hand, caring breeders will WANT to know what happens and how they can help, which helps you and the puppy as you get familiar and comfortable with each other.