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The RSPCA give advice regarding Kennel Club registered pedigree dogs and Approved Breeders.

Thinking of buying a pedigree dog?

We’ve set out some simple Q&As to help puppy buyers understand what ‘pedigree’ stands for, and more importantly, what it doesn’t.

What is a pedigree dog?

A pedigree dog is the offspring of a dam and sire of the same breed, which is eligible for registration with a recognised club or society that maintain a register for dogs of that description. There are a number of pedigree dog registration schemes, of which the Kennel Club is the most well known.

What does Kennel Club registration stand for?

The Kennel Club's registration system is akin to the registration of births for people - it is a simple record of a puppy's birth. Up to 300,000 puppies are registered with the Kennel Club every year. The Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme is their ‘kitemark’ scheme, and breeders registered with it must have met certain standards set by them. 

How does a Kennel Club registered pedigree dog differ from a non Kennel Club registered dog?

The Kennel Club states on its website that the benefits to new owners of purchasing a Kennel Club registered pedigree dog are that they will know it should display the characteristics of the breed, in both looks and temperament.

Could a puppy bred on a puppy farm be registered with the Kennel Club?

In the case of commercial breeders (those who breed five or more litters a year), puppies can be Kennel Club registered provided they can produce a licence issued by the local authority and meet the criteria for registration.However, the RSPCA is concerned that the standards of care and the environment in which puppies are bred on ‘puppy farms’, even licensed establishments, vary considerably between local authorities, despite legislation and model licensing conditions being in place.

In addition, due to lack of resources some local authorities may not have the necessary expertise to assess breeding establishments from an animal welfare point of view and therefore fall below what the RSPCA would consider to be an acceptable standard.

This means that some Kennel Club registered puppies that have been bred in commercial breeding establishments may not have been bred to the standards of care that would be expected of a responsible breeder.

You can find out more about Kennel Club registration on their website.

I thought Kennel Club registered meant that I would be getting a puppy from a responsible breeder. Is this the case?

The term Kennel Club registered is not an indication that the breeder is responsible, neither will it guarantee that you are buying a healthy, happy puppy. In fact, the Kennel Club has a second tier of registration, called the Assured Breeders Scheme, for which membership is based on breeders meeting a set of criteria that the Kennel Club deems to be an indicator of responsible breeding. At present, however, there are approximately 7,500 breeders registered with the Assured Breeders Scheme, which equates to just 15 per cent – a small percentage – of the total number of puppies registered with the Kennel Club every year.

Does the RSPCA recommend the Assured Breeders Scheme?

The RSPCA is pleased that the Kennel Club is trying to protect and support responsible breeders. But we cannot currently endorse the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme because we do not feel the criteria is stringent enough and neither are there sufficient checks on breeders registered with the scheme to ensure they are meeting the health and welfare of their dogs. The current standards set out for the Assured Breeder Scheme are roughly the minimum standards that the RSPCA would like to see as the criteria for all pedigree dog registrations.

Why are there so many advertisements for puppies for sale that use the term Kennel Club registered if it does not stand for much?

The RSPCA believes that the term ‘Kennel Club registered’ is being used by breeders and traders as a marketing tool used to sell puppies because people believe it stands for quality.

How can I make sure that the puppy I buy comes from a responsible breeder?

If you want to buy a pedigree puppy, it’s vital to do your homework first.

You should find out where and how your puppy was bred – make sure that you see a puppy with its mother in the place where it was bred and find out about any health tests your breed of choice should have had and ask to see the test results. Here’s our guide on what to check when you’re choosing a puppy.

Also, because of the way dogs have been bred to look a certain way, many suffer from serious health and welfare issues. Therefore it’s important to select a dog that’s free from exaggerations. Read our fact sheet about dogs with exaggerated features here.

Finally, a responsible breeder is as likely to want to know as much about you as you do about them and how they’ve bred the puppy. There’s also likely to be a waiting list - a good breeder will only breed one litter of puppies per year from a breeding bitch.

Dog ownership

Improving dog ownership and welfare

Irresponsible dog ownership is a phrase we're using quite a bit at the moment – but what does it actually mean?

Read more ..... RSPCA

Dogs and Cats in Dog Food

We see pictures of whole grains, prime cuts of meat and human grade vegetables on the bag, and we assume there's some chef in a pet food kitchen cooking up the best for our loved ones. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Most of what makes up dog and cat food comes from the rendering plant.

To render, as defined in Webster's Dictionary, is "to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting."When chickens, lambs, cattle, swine, and other animals are slaughtered for food, usually only the lean muscle is cut off for human consumption.This leaves about 50 percent of a carcass left over. These leftovers are what become what we so commonly find on pet food labels, such as "meat-and-bone-meal" or "by-products.

"So basically, what pets eat are lungs, ligaments, bones, blood and intestines.Some other things that go into rendering to make your Cat and Dog Food are:


* Euthanized companion animals Cats and Dogs


* Spoiled meat from the supermarket, Styrofoam wrapping and all


* Road kill that can't be buried on the roadside


* The "5 D's" of cattle: dead, dying, diseased, decaying and disabled


* Rancid restaurant grease


When dead animals from cow pastures are picked up, they may not be rendered until up to a week after they are dead. Because of this, it is estimated that E. coli bacteria contaminate more than 50 percent of meat meals.

The rendering process destroys the bacteria, but it does not eliminate the endotoxins bacteria release when they die.

These endotoxin, which can cause sickness and disease, are not tested for by pet food manufacturers.When all this comes to the rendering plant, it's put in a huge vat and shredded.Then it's cooked at 220 to 270 degrees for 20 to 60 minutes. After it cools, the grease is skimmed off the top.

This is "animal fat." The rest is pressed and dried. This is "meat and bone meal."Dogs wouldn't eat this stuff in the wild, so why will they eat it out of their bowls? Their noses are tricked by the smell of it. The smell of animal fats for dogs and fish oil for cats is sprayed on the dry, bland kibble bits to make them appetizing.

These flavors usually come from rendered restaurant grease, animal fat, or other oils unfit for human consumption. Huge conglomerates use pet food companies as a cheap, and even profitable, way of disposing of the waste from their human food companies. Three of the five major pet food companies are owned by these huge corporations.

Who owns what? Corporation & Pet Foods:

Nestle: Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Purina One

Heinz: 9 Lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles-n-Bits, Nature's Recipe

Proctor & Gamble: Eukanuba and Iams

Mars: Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree, Sheba, Waltham's

Colgate-Palmolive: Hill's Science Diet

Arthritis drug kills dog?

For six days she suffered endless bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea before suffering paralysis in her hind legs. Eventually, Robin and Sue, from Bickley, Kent, felt they had no choice but to have her put down.Now, the heartbroken couple and the vet who treated Abby are convinced the drug used to treat her actually killed her.The drug was Carprodyl, which is widely used to treat millions of dogs in Britain and around the world.

Vet Paul Grant had believed the drug, whose active ingredient is the painkiller and anti-inflammatory carprofen, to be safe. He has decided to speak to the Mail in the hope of raising awareness over the drug’s potential dangers. Read more Daily Mail


So, why don't vets warn people? The question should be, what makes veterinarians think they can recommend food. In Food Pets Die For, Ann Martin says, Our family physician doesnt display weight loss products in the reception room So why is this going on in our veterinary clinics that do not specialize in nutrition. She says she considers it unethical for vets to sell pet food unless they are trained in pet nutrition.The reason your vet thinks so highly of the pet food they sell probably has more to do with money than nutrition. In vet school, the only classes offered on nutrition usually last a few weeks, and are taught by representatives from the pet food companies.


Vet students may also receive free food for their own dogs and cats at home. They could get an Iams notebook, a Purina purse and some free pizza.The companies also hire students to be representatives for the company and to promote their products to other students.This issue was even placed on the agenda for an Executive Committee meeting at the vet school at Colorado State University. According to the minutes discussion was held on how to handle dealing with pet food companies and their donations of pet food to the university. It was agreed to put together a task force to discuss this issue, investigate the possibilities, and make suggestions to the Executive Council on how to work with the numerous pet food companies that want to donate to CSU. There was no further mention of this topic in meetings since.


In May 2000, Purina made the announcement that in an effort to help university, veterinary hospitals provide optimal nutrition recommendations for dogs and cats, Ralston Purina is funding three new veterinary diet technician positions. They donated $100,000 to support these positions for the first year. How would you feel about a company that paid your salary?




Because the ingredients in pet food aren't exactly as pure as consumers are made to believe, not only is the food unhealthy, it may also be poisonous.When the "food" comes out of the rendering plant, there's no way it would be bought by a consumer or eaten by a dog. To make it more pleasing to the eyes of owners and the mouths of animals, the producers of pet food add a myriad of chemicals.To keep the food fresh, the first thing added is a preservative. The bags of food must stay fresh through shipping and on the shelf. There are several synthetic preservatives out there:


* Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

* Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

* Propylene glycol (also used as automotive antifreeze)

* Ethoxyquin


Their is little known about the effect these chemicals may have on an animal. Some experts and veterinarians claim ethoxyquin is the best and safest preservative on the market, others claim it is a potential carcinogen, causing skin problems and infertility in dogs.Some other things that may be added to your dog or cat food are:


* Coloring agents

* Drying agents

* Flavoring agents

* Lubricants

* Nutritive Sweeteners