Top 3 Reasons Why Petco & PetSmart do NOT Sell Dogs

Petco and PetSmart are two of the most well-known pet retail chains in the United States. While they offer a wide range of pet supplies, food, and services, one thing you won’t find in their stores is dogs.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why Petco and PetSmart do not sell dogs, shedding light on their policies and the implications for animal welfare. Let’s get into it!

Reasons Why Petco & PetSmart do NOT Sell Dogs

Reasons why Petco & PetSmart do NOT sell dogs?

The Evolution of Pet Retail

The Early Days

In the early days of pet retail, it was common for pet stores to sell puppies and dogs. These animals were often sourced from puppy mills, which are known for their inhumane breeding practices and often result in sick and mistreated animals. This led to concerns about the welfare of dogs sold in pet stores.

A Shift in Approach

Petco and PetSmart recognized the need for change and began shifting their approach. They made the decision to stop selling dogs in their stores, a move that aimed to improve animal welfare and align with a more humane philosophy.

Animal Welfare Concerns

Puppy Mills

One of the primary reasons for Petco and PetSmart not selling dogs is the concern over puppy mills. Puppy mills are large-scale breeding facilities where dogs are often kept in squalid conditions, leading to numerous health and behavioral issues. By not selling dogs, these pet retail giants aim to discourage the demand for dogs from such unethical sources.

Adopt, Don’t Shop

Both Petco and PetSmart have embraced the “adopt, don’t shop” mantra. They encourage prospective pet owners to adopt dogs from local animal shelters and rescue organizations. By doing so, they support the rescue and rehoming of dogs in need while reducing the demand for commercially bred puppies.

Focus on Education

Responsible Pet Ownership

Another reason behind their decision is their commitment to promoting responsible pet ownership. Petco and PetSmart use their stores as platforms to educate customers about pet care, training, and the responsibilities that come with pet ownership. Selling dogs from a store does not align with this mission.

Health and Quality Assurance

Screening and Care

Petco and PetSmart prioritize the health and well-being of pets. By not selling dogs, they can ensure that the animals they do offer, such as cats, birds, and small animals, undergo proper health screenings and care. This approach guarantees a higher standard of pet health.

Collaboration with Local Rescues

Supporting Local Animal Welfare

Both companies work with local animal rescues and shelters to promote pet adoptions. They provide space within their stores for these organizations to showcase adoptable animals, further reinforcing their commitment to animal welfare.


In conclusion, Petco and PetSmart do not sell dogs for several compelling reasons. Their dedication to animal welfare, a focus on responsible pet ownership, and collaboration with local rescues all play a part in this decision. By choosing not to sell dogs, they send a clear message about their commitment to the well-being of animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I adopt a dog from Petco or PetSmart?

No, Petco and PetSmart do not sell dogs, but they often host adoption events with local rescue organizations where you can adopt a dog.

2. Why do some pet stores still sell dogs?

Some smaller, independent pet stores may still sell dogs, but larger chains like Petco and PetSmart have adopted a more humane approach by not selling dogs.

3. Are all dogs in pet stores from puppy mills?

Not all dogs in pet stores come from puppy mills, but there is a risk. Petco and PetSmart’s decision helps reduce this risk by encouraging adoption from reputable sources.

4. What other pets do Petco and PetSmart sell?

They offer a wide range of pets like cats, birds, fish, and small animals. Additionally, they provide supplies, food, and services for various pets.

5. How can I support animal welfare through Petco and PetSmart?

You can support animal welfare by adopting pets from their adoption events, donating to local rescue organizations in their stores, or purchasing pet supplies from them, as a portion of the proceeds may go to animal welfare initiatives.

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