Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What is a Health Guarentee?

What is a Health Guarantee?

It’s actually a oxymoron when you think about it. I don’t know of any breeder that could, with 100% certainty guarantee the future health of any puppy they produce. It doesn’t matter how much health testing or the choosing of the best bloodlines, no breeder can guarantee a dogs health throughout it’s lifetime.The term “warranty” would be a better term. When you purchase a puppy it’s not the same as purchasing a new car where you get a bumper to bumper, 10 years or 100,000 mile warranty. Dogs are living, breathing beings and as such breeders can’t give you a guarantee that they will never face some sort of health issue.

With a warranty or as some breeders term it, a health guarantee what you are getting is an agreement that if the dog should face a genetic health problem, the breeder will do one of several things. Some breeders may offer to pay a limited amount of money toward the Vet costs associated with the health issue, though I believe this is rare. More commonly, a breeder will offer a replacement puppy if the puppy you purchased has a genetic health issue that warrants the need to euthanize it and the majority of breeders do not refund the purchase price.

Before buying a puppy I think it’s important to go into it knowing that there will always be the possibility that something may come up at some point during the dog’s life. Most issues will be minimal in nature. But there is always the chance that the puppy could develop some health issue during their lifetime. Those of us that have human children knew that we would not receive a guarantee on our children’s health. We love them all the same and are willing to take that risk when we chose to bring them into the world. It’s really no different when it comes to puppies. Granted, breeders chose to breed and in doing so they do have the responsibility to breed as responsible as possible. But none of us are genetic scientists and even if we were, genetics aren’t infallible. Even the best genetics can produce a puppy that faces health issues.

Buying a puppy from a show breeder that breeds responsibly is you’re best chance to purchase a puppy that will not face major health problems during it’s lifetime. While this isn’t a guarantee, it does increase the likelihood of obtaining a healthy, happy and well bred dog.

Kelle Arvay is a show breeder of AKC champion fawn and black Pugs.

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