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Dog Friendly Tips: Four Reasons Why Rent-A-Puppy Is a Horrible Idea

I recently read an article about a female Brigham Young University student who was earning college money by renting out puppies. Yes, I did say "renting out puppies." She originally directed her business to fellow college students who could not bring their own pets on campus. She has expanded her business and is now targeting very busy parents who want to give their children the opportunity to play with an adorable puppy without having to deal with the full responsibility of raising a dog.

On the surface, this seems like a wonderful idea. She charges $15 to rent a puppy for one hour or $25 for two hours, with the possibility of longer arrangements. She delivers the puppy to your door. The children can play with the dog for a short time. The puppy is then returned before it ever wees on the couch. What could be better? No Fuss, No Muss!

Renting puppies, however is WRONG on so many levels.

Four Reasons That Rent-a-Puppy Is An Awful Idea:

(1) We don't know where she is getting the puppies.

She claims that she gets the puppies from local people who are unable to care for them. This might seem reasonable once, but not month after month or "on call." I have now read three different articles about this student and in each article she gives a different explanation of how she gets her puppies. Why the secrecy and lies?

There is one and only one way to guarantee a continual source of puppies; and that is working with puppy mills either directly or indirectly through a broker.

Any place or person who has puppies all year and can even make arrangements for a certain type of dog, as this college student claims, is using puppy mill dogs.

To support puppy mills is just WRONG!

(2) These puppies are too young:

This coed claims her puppies are between 8 and 12 weeks of age, and that she adopts them out at age 12 weeks. A responsible breeder will not let their puppies go until they are 12 weeks. An 8 to 10 week old puppy has not learned the socialization or basic training the mother dog provides. This time period is critical for the emotional development/temperament of the dog. Puppies need a stable environment so they can learn the rules of life. How is a puppy supposed to learn where to "do his business" when the location changes constantly?

Some people will argue that the puppies are getting great socialization from being with many people. What the puppy is really learning is that humans cannot be trusted to provide consistency in their life. Each time they are rented, the family acts as if they love the puppy; but then they disappear. The puppy quickly learns that humans will abandon them.

(3) The health of these puppies is jeopardized:

This student admits she does not give her puppies the appropriate shots until they are adopted. She also states that she generally has several puppies at one time. One sick puppy will infect the others. Renting one of these exposed puppies will spread the illness.

If her puppies are from puppy mills, then the likelihood of illness is very high. Imagine renting an adorable puppy to see if your older dog would accept a puppy, and then discovering the puppy is ill. The puppy might die in your home, and/or spread the illness to your older dog. How do you explain THAT to your children?

The #1 complaint from people who buy puppies from pet stores is illness in the puppy. The puppy seems healthy at the store, but within a few days, the puppy gets sick and dies.

(4) These puppies are not spayed/neutered:

This may not seem like a concern, but if she doesn't have them neutered as soon as possible, she may be contributing to the homeless dog problem. This coed is also putting the expense of surgery on the adopter. Her adoption fee is approximately the same as charged by rescues, but rescues and shelters always spay/neuter before you can take the dog home. It is unethical to be adopting out dogs that are still intact. Reputable breeders will do this ONLY if the puppy is show quality.

So, would YOU rent a puppy? I hope your answer is a definite NO. The fun your child might have is not worth the harm to the puppy; and NO ONE should support puppy mills! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!

Shirley Slick, "The Slick Tips Lady," is a retired high school math teacher and a life-long animal lover. In addition to her goals about mathematics education, she is equally concerned about puppy-mills, the dog rescue industry, and designer dogs. For more information about these topics, or tips about donating to rescues, visit her website at

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