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Sick puppy

An owner brought her 6 months old puppy to us, he(the puppy) looked restless, had little hair, extremely fearful and malnourished, upon discussing about his meals, the owner took out a bag full of pills and powders and I asked what those were, "to keep my furkid healthy", she said. I then asked why and what was wrong with her furkid, "the pet store asked me to buy these supplements from them, they said it was needed for my furkid to be healthy " was the reply.

Needless to say, I started to explain everything I knew about the poor dog, from his behavior to his health, he looked like a 12 year old dog in a 6 months old body, I mentioned that this was cause by the breeder/pet store, whereby they breed excessively and left puppies in small cages 24/7, I also learned that the fearful behavior was already present on the first day the owner brought him home, he couldn't even walk outdoors and would just lie flat on the floor.

To be honest, training this boy wasn't an easy task, his confidence level was so low that he was slouching throughout the day, not taking any treats even if it was his favorite. It took us 3 days, 10 practices a day, 10 minutes each session to finally increase his confidence level by two folds, and it still wasn't enough, he started walking and smelling other dogs but was still very wary and fearful.

This post is not to focus on how we train this dog, but to remind owners that buying from a reputable breeder is very important, puppies are not supposed to look sick and behave like what was described above, they should be strong, active, friendly and most of all, they should be very healthy. Pet stores like this are very common in Singapore, I have yet to see one that fits my expectation but I believe that there has to be a few good ones at least, and these pet stores are slowly disappearing because people prefer to pay less. Puppy mills breed dogs at a crazy rate, not allowing them to rest, these poor dogs are forced to mate over and over again in small steel cages so that the business can make more money, puppies are usually sold for a cheap price to attract buyers, after all they still look cute no matter how sick they are.

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