There are three words that every veterinarian dreads: “My breeder said…” Fortunately, a good majority of owners these days rescue their new dog from a shelter or foster group. Certain clients are very loyal to specific breeds, and will elect to buy a new puppy from a breeder. There are some really good breeders out there (I heard recently from a client who came in with a newly purchased Labrador puppy that her breeder bred only one litter per year, had both parents thoroughly screened for hip dysplasia, insisted on checking that all adoptive pet owners have veterinary references and even did a home inspection to ascertain that the pups were going to a safe, clean responsible home!) Unfortunately, responsible breeders are very much the exception rather than the rule. I’ve talked previously about backyard breeders and puppy mills, which is not the topic of today’s post.