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Adopt don't Shop! You'll find a fur-ever friend for sure

By Anna Webb; Broadcaster, Nutrition & Behaviour expert has studied with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies 11 months ago 2497 Views

As a nation of animal lovers it’s a shocking fact that as dog ownership continues to rise, the numbers of dogs in rescues nationwide is soaring.

The nature of our modern online shopping culture has created a disposable mentality that encourages impulse puppy purchases and a non-committal trend.

In recent years buying a puppy couldn’t have become quicker and easier with the click of a mouse thanks to websites like Gumtree.

Unwittingly these enthusiastic puppy buyers have fuelled a dark, cruel trade known as puppy farming.

Often called ‘conveyor belt’ breeding, these dogs’ welfare is non-existent with puppies reared in horrific conditions with their mothers being bred to death.

Apart from puppy farmed pups being prone to life threatening disease, their bad start creates emotional scars and behavioural issues that can be difficult for a first time owner to cope with.

The recent landmark and long awaited news that new legislation called #LucysLaw has been laid in Parliament makes it illegal to sell puppies and kittens as a third party sale.

As all puppy-farmed pups are third party sales, this new law heralds an end to this cruel trade and is great news for all the campaigners, led by Vet Marc Abrahams, who have lobbied for over a decade to end this cruel business.

As a massive step forwards #LucysLaw will reduce the number of pets bought on impulse and a whim with the click of a mouse.

Lucy’s Law will channel future dog owners down the responsible breeder channel, where oftentimes there’s a waiting list for two years for your perfect puppy.

Meanwhile our rescues are brimful of puppies abandoned after being a third party sale, or grown into dogs that a behaviourally compromised, or simply no longer suit a lifestyle.

The trending hashtag #AdoptDontShop raises awareness and urges prospective owners to re-home a dog rather than buying a puppy.

My English Toy terrier, Mr Binks, is a ‘re-home’. He arrived aged two years and now, aged seven, he’s changed into a quietly confident chap that relishes experiences and has a zest for life.

The gorgeous Mr Binks

His rehabilitation took a lot of time and patience, both qualities we seem to be lacking in our one click world. After all patience is supposed to be a virtue!

Mr Binks’ diet played a vital role to nourish and speed up his ‘turnaround’ not least as he suffers from a de-generative condition called Legg Calves Perthes Disease.

If we’re to believe what Hippocrates stated in 600BC that: ‘Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine’, I opted to feed Mr Binks on Natural Instinct.

Giving me peace of mind, he continues to guzzle down his raw, complete, balanced meals. Arriving to our door frozen, they’re simply ready to thaw and serve.

Packed with a balanced combination of ethically sourced meat, offal, veggies, fruit and ground bone, it suited Mr Binks.

Offering him whole foods, packed with protein and fat, he muscled up and his confidence grew.

Despite arriving quite threadbare with sores on his neck, Natural Instinct’s ingredients like spinach, sea kelp, and greens boosted his immune system.

It didn’t take long before his skin was healthy and he could wear a leather collar with pride.

For those owners who have their hearts set on a certain pedigree that’s not often found in rescue, I understand why you will want to find your perfect puppy.

Providing this puppy does not become a statistic, there is nothing wrong with buying a puppy from a responsible breeder.

My Miniature Bull terrier is a bought pedigree. She is the successor to Molly my first Mini-Bull Terrier, and continues her memory.

The proviso as Dogs Trust reminds us: ‘A dog is for life and not just for Christmas’.

Posted in: General Advice
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