My pet is from a breeding mill. What to prepare for and how to treat him?

Getting your pet from a breeding mill is no longer just a matter of dogs. Nowadays, you are "guaranteed" to be able to purchase cheaply and quickly also cats, various species of rodents or even hedgehogs.  What is more, breeding mill owners are increasingly inventive and rely on people's lack of knowledge and carelessness. What to watch out for if you suspect that your pet is from that sort of environment?

Whether it is a puppy, a cat or a rat, their stay in a breeding mill at the start of their life (their most important stage of learning the basics of socialisation) is exactly the same. In the vast majority of cases, animals raised in this way must survive in catastrophic conditions - the premises are unsuitable and often crammed with a large number of animals having to share cages that are way too small.

Breeding mill owners buy the cheapest feeds, which are usually of poor quality, and do not provide any further care to these young animals that could be malnourished. Conditions in terms of hygiene are insufficient because with such a large number of animals the owners have not got enough time to keep all the cages and pens clean. Such traumatising experience, unfortunately, affects the pets in their future life.

Health and behaviour problems

Problems can come as early as two weeks after bringing your new family member home. They can vary from animal to animal. In general, be aware that the original owners did not invest much into the breeding. Breeding mills are a business focusing on a quick profit.

Animals are often not wormed, vaccinated and can suffer from various genetic defects. It is a good idea to take your pet for a check-up to a vet, who can detect some of these problems immediately. You should, however, bear in mind that other veterinary expenses will follow. Your four-legged friend should, for example, have his bones and joints examined as they can be deformed or dislocated due to a poor diet and a lack of movement.

Dogs, but generally all animals in breeding mills, also suffer mentally because there is little interaction with the outside world or other animals and humans. No one really cares for them there or gives them what they need. They feel unloved. That is why they are more scared of their surroundings, they are more aggressive and generally quite dangerous for their new family as they are afraid that their previous experience will repeat.  

Be patient  

The key is to be patient with such a pet. It is very likely that they are not going to listen to you straight away and it might take time for them to start trusting you and treat you as their friend. Some behavioural problems may still show even after several years of the animal being in your care. However, even though you feel sorry for them, rather than spoiling them start building your relationship from scratch. Otherwise they might gradually become too much for you to handle.

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