This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
What do you think of when you hear the term puppy mill? Do you see happy and healthy dogs frolicking outside in a grassy field? Or do you picture dirty and poorly-kept kennels with hundreds of dogs in them?
Puppy mills are dog breeding businesses. Most keep animals in awful conditions where they are forced to produce litter after litter for profit. Of late, there have been talks about puppy mills and their negative impact they have on dogs.
But what are the facts and figures? More importantly, what are organizations doing to change the way dogs are bred in puppy mills? We’ve explored ten heartbreaking Canadian puppy mill statistics that are sure to make you want to go out and adopt a pet, including 4 facts on the mistreatment of dogs, 3 statistics on the breeds sold at puppy mills, and 3 facts about licensing and puppy lifespans.
If you’ve ever considered being part of the 7% of Canadians who have adopted a pet, then we hope this inspires you to do just that.
10 Heartbreaking Canadian Puppy Mill Statistics and Facts to Know in 2022
- Puppy mill dogs are often confined to small cages for 23 hours a day and are denied the chance to play or exercise.
- Food in puppy mills is usually contaminated and infested with bugs. Dogs are often malnourished due to this.
- Puppy mill owners do not treat the animals for diseases because the puppies are sold before they show signs of disease.
- Most female dogs in Canadian puppy mills are bred every heat cycle and given little time to recuperate.
- One in three Canadian puppies comes from a puppy mill.
- Only 15% of dogs from puppy mills are purebreds.
- Male dogs are more valuable than females in puppy mills because they can be used to sire puppies on several females.
- 80% of puppy mills in Canada are not licensed or inspected by the government when breeding dogs and selling them online.
- The average lifespan of a breeding dog at a puppy mill is 5–7 years.
- The average age of a female dog used for breeding in a puppy mill is 4 years old.
The 4 Saddest Facts on the Mistreatment of Dogs in Puppy Mills
1. Puppy mill dogs are often confined to small cages for 23 hours a day and are denied the chance to play or exercise.
Dogs in puppy mills spend every day confined to a cage. Moreover, the cages are so small that the dogs can’t even turn around or take a few steps in any direction.
Many puppy mill dogs never get to experience the joy of playing with people. They never get to roam and play outdoors or feel the grass beneath their feet. Their only contact with humans is with workers who care for them and bring them food.
2. Food in puppy mills is usually contaminated and infested with bugs. Dogs are often malnourished due to this.
(ONE GREEN PLANET)
It’s a common misconception that puppy mill dog food is healthy and adequate for the dogs living in these facilities. In reality, most puppy mill dog food is inadequate and often harmful to the dogs’ health in their care.
Toxins present in the air, water, and soil around these facilities contaminate their food supplies and make them unsafe to eat. The low-quality ingredients found in most puppy mill feed cause poor growth rates and malnutrition in puppy mill dogs. It leads to poor bone development.
Treating dogs this way is cruel and abusive. And these dogs may carry diseases that can be transmitted to other animals, including humans.
3. Puppy mill owners do not treat the animals for disease. It’s because the puppies are sold before they show signs of disease.
(CENTER FOR SHELTER DOGS)
Puppy mills don’t treat animals. It’s common for a puppy to be sold sick or with an illness. Many people do not know the truth behind the puppy mills until they bring their new pet home and become sick.
Puppy mills have a large number of confined animals. It makes it easier to spread disease. The puppies are also bred frequently, making them have fragile immune systems and weak bodies. Many of these puppies die before they are sold due to malnutrition, illness, or injury.
4. Most female dogs in Canadian puppy mills are bred every heat cycle and given little time to recuperate.
Most females in puppy mills are separated from their puppies immediately after birth. They spend the rest of their lives in confinement.
The puppies are kept in small, cramped cages. They have no ventilation or fresh air, and many are not provided with natural light.
Females continue to produce a litter every few months, ten or more times over a short period. After this breeding cycle is complete, the dogs’ bodies give out. Then, they are discarded to make room for the next batch of breeding dogs.
The 3 Most Common Dogs Sold from Puppy Mills and Rarest Breeds
5. One in three Canadian puppies comes from a puppy mill.
Puppy mills churn out puppies as quickly as possible. Due to this, many dogs suffer from poor health and behavioral issues. Also, they suffer psychological trauma caused by the confinement and the neglect they experience.
Tens of thousands of puppy mill dogs are sold every year at pet stores or online. Many others are sold at flea markets, on classified ads, and local auctions. Sadly, most people buying a puppy have no idea that the dog came from a puppy mill.
6. Only 15% of dogs from puppy mills are purebreds.
It’s a fact that anyone who wants to buy a purebred dog can go online and find one on sale. Many people are willing to pay a great deal of money for purebred dogs. But the truth is there are a few purebred dogs in a puppy mill.
Statistics show that only 15% of dogs bred in puppy mills are purebreds.
7. Male dogs are more valuable than females in puppy mills because they can be used to sire puppies on several females.
One male dog can impregnate several female dogs within a short time. This makes the male dog more valuable compared to the female. Assuming 100 female dogs are on heat, only a few males will be needed to get the job done. Thus, the male is more valued and well taken care of in readiness for the task ahead.
The 3 Most Shocking Statistics on Puppy Mills Licensure and Dogs’ Lifespan
8. 80% of puppy mills in Canada are not licensed or inspected by the government while breeding dogs and selling them online.
According to statistics from Humane Canada, there are more than 1,000 puppy mills in Canada, with up to 100,000 dogs being bred for commercial purposes. But a recent investigation discovered that many puppy mills in Canada operate without a license or inspection by the government.
Tens of thousands of puppies end up in the hands of consumers each year. But most Canadians don’t know what goes on behind the scenes at commercial dog breeding centers. It’s a serious problem. Many puppy mills are breeding unhealthy dogs to meet consumer demand for pets.
9. The average lifespan of a breeding dog at a puppy mill is 5-7 years.
The lifespan of a breeding dog at a puppy mill is short. It’s because after it has had so many litters, it’s no longer able to produce puppies for profit. So, it’s killed and replaced with a younger dog.
These dogs are forced to breed every year, which leads to hereditary defects and other health problems that make dogs unfit for adoption. The breeding dogs used in puppy mills are living in deplorable conditions and are deprived of basic care.
10. The average age of a female dog used for breeding in a puppy mill is four years old. It’s when she goes into heat for the first time.
Female dogs start breeding at a young age. It’s because of their hormones and the confined quarters where they live. They go into heat every three weeks. Also, they can be bred for up to two years without rest. On average, they start breeding from four years of age.
Some dogs are bred until they die from complications. The puppies produced by female dogs at this age are smaller than they should be. They do not grow well and have health problems.
After breeding, the female dogs are dumped at pet stores or sold online to unsuspecting consumers looking for a new pet.
Frequently Asked Questions on Heartbreaking Canadian Puppy Mill Statistics and Facts
1. Where do puppy mills sell their puppies?
Puppy mills are disreputable breeding facilities that mass-produce dogs for sale. These puppy mills often have deplorable living conditions and don’t treat the animals well.
A pet store is one of the many places you can find puppies from a puppy mill. Even if a pet store claims the dog came from a reputable breeder, the puppy may be from a puppy mill.
Even if a pet store isn’t selling a puppy mill dog, there are other ways it might be contributing to the demand for puppy mill dogs. For instance, it may buy its dogs from other stores that get its dogs from mills. This way, they’re still contributing to the demand for those types of dogs and perpetuating this cycle of abuse.
2. How much money do puppy mills make a year in Canada?
It is not known for sure because many of the unscrupulous breeders who use puppy mills are not concerned with tracking specific numbers. It’s also difficult to get statistics on this issue because of the underground nature of the practice.
It’s a serious problem for dog lovers, especially those who love purebreds. There are a growing number of people who are working tirelessly to put an end to this dark aspect of the dog breeding industry. But it’s not always easy to get solid information about how prevalent puppy mills are in Canada.
3. How do you tell if your dog is from a puppy mill?
Tail wagging is an outward sign of happiness in dogs. It means that when you pet your dog, and she wags her tail, then she’s happy and feels safe with you. If she doesn’t wag her tail or cowers while you pet her, then she may be from a puppy mill.
If the dog has a long coat, watch for sores or red bumps on their skin. These are signs of fleas, ticks, and mites. Many dogs get these parasites from living in unsanitary conditions at puppy mills. So, it may take a couple of weeks for these parasites to die off.
If the puppy seems afraid of its own shadow or acts aggressively toward children, adults, or other dogs, this could indicate that they come from a puppy mill. Perhaps they were treated cruelly and beaten into submission by breeders who didn’t care about them.
Dogs from puppy mills are often bred for profit, not for health or temperament. It means you can never be sure what kind of medical problems your pet might develop later in life.
(SYKESVILLE VET CLINIC)
4. How many dogs die in puppy mills in Canada?
More than 10,000 puppies die in puppy mills every year in Canada. It’s estimated that only one out of ten puppy mill dogs will live to see their first birthday. It’s because of neglect and disease.
The conditions in these mills are so horrific that the dogs are constantly sick and infested with diseases.
And because these mills are only concerned with producing puppies, their methods of keeping the dogs alive, such as feeding and watering them fall far below the standards required by law. The dogs are kept in small cages all day, with little to no attention.
5. What happens to puppies in puppy mills?
Tens of thousands of dogs are bred in puppy mills each year. These dogs are kept in small wire cages stacked on top of one another. They have little room to move around or socialize with others. Also, they don’t have human interaction or sufficient veterinary care.
Usually, the animals have medical issues from being bred too young or being treated poorly. As a result, these dogs often exhibit behavioral problems that can make them difficult for people to handle.
Most of these poor animals will never leave the mill and will spend their entire lives producing puppies for the pet store trade. Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, and there is no law prohibiting them from selling puppies.
6. Where are most puppy mills located in Canada?
According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS), there are over 2,000 puppy mills in Canada. 700 of them are located in Ontario, with another 500 in Quebec.
7. What dog breeds are found in Canadian puppy mills?
Tiny dogs, such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies, are popular choices for puppy mills. It’s because they can be bred quickly. Also, they can be easily transported and sold at a high profit.
There are also mixed breed dogs in puppy mills. These dogs are commonly referred to as mutts and are often sold as “rare” breeds. Mixed breed dogs make up a large portion of the puppy mill population. That’s why some people choose to buy their companions from pet stores.
Other typical dog breeds that you can find in Canadian puppy mills comprise Pomeranian, Maltese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Boston Terrier.
Differences Between a Puppy Mill and a Normal Breeder
A puppy mill is a large operation that breeds puppies in unsanitary conditions. Usually, the puppies are confined in small cages. Puppy mills are operated by people who are only concerned about making money. They don’t care about their animals’ health or happiness.
On the other hand, reputable breeders usually have more than one dog breed because they genuinely love animals. A reputable breeder is knowledgeable about all aspects of dog ownership. They include grooming, obedience training, and proper nutrition.
Also, a good breeder cares for each puppy as if it were their pet. Good breeders provide individual attention to each puppy. They don’t only focus on breeding as many puppies as possible. These breeders will require potential owners to fill out an application before getting a dog. The application ensures that each dog ends up in the right home.
(YOUR DOG’S FRIEND)
The Canadian puppy mill industry is a massive problem across the country. With the help of pet stores and online retailers, these breeding facilities can make thousands of dollars by selling vulnerable litters. These litters suffer greatly and never reach their full potential.
If these businesses would stop buying puppies from these mills, they’d be suppressed sooner. But in the meantime, we should spread awareness about the evils of these breeding facilities. There is hope for a better future, but only if we work together.
If you plan to buy a puppy, support local rescue groups, animal shelters, and responsible breeders rather than puppy mills.
Featured Image Credit: KITSANANAN, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.