What Pet Stores Don’t Tell You

Smart Money – sister publication of the Wall Street Journal – is continuing its series of the 10 things retailers won’t tell you, focusing this time on pet stores.

Number one, says the magazine is that pet food and treats are more expensive at pet stores.

Supermarkets, Target, Costco and other department stories as well as Amazon are frequently much cheaper.

Another biggie, is don’t buy that cute dog in the cage. It may have come from a pet mill.

“Pet-store purchasers do risk getting an unhealthy puppy from a bad breeding facility, says veterinary specialist Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of the Pet Poison Helpline. Pet store puppies can cost upwards of $1,000, but bad living conditions at puppy mills and too-early separation from their mothers often make puppies sick (see #4). Muddled breeding lines can bring out congenital defects, she says. A 2011 study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Best Friends Animal Society also found that puppy mill puppies often have longstanding psychological damage leading to fearful and compulsive behaviors.

“Instead of a pet store, consumers may want to look to either a reputable local breeder or an adoption group, says Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Humane Society’s puppy mills campaign. Petco, which does not sell dogs or cats, agrees that adoption should be the first option. “Petco always recommends that anyone looking to add a new pet to their family consider adopting a companion animal in need of a loving home — rather than purchasing one — even if it’s an animal we sell in our stores,” a spokeswoman says.”


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3 Comments on "What Pet Stores Don’t Tell You"

  1. I have exotic birds and what I pay 19.00 costs 28.99 in the pet sties. Toys too are much more expensive, unless you are lucky and find clearance toys.

    Pet Stores I believe cater to Dogs, Cats, Fish an small animals in that order. Birds are the last on their list! Also, it is better to buy a bird from a breeder or adoption program!

  2. toni from whart | July 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm |

    thank you for posting this. it is given FACT that these puppies do come from mills. most are infected with intestinal parasites & diseases like parvo. NEVER EVER get a puppy from pet stores, even when a vet is employed by that same establishment.

  3. Pat Lindsey | July 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm |

    Pet stores charge higher prices?

    Is that why I can’t find pricing details on pet food and supplies?
    It is really difficult to comparison shop without the “cost per ..” on the labels.

    Is there a state and/or federal “watchdog” (or watchcat) agency that oversees this billion dollar industry?


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