Our Breeder Standards

No puppy mills. No scammers. No headaches. PuppySpot serves you best by putting the health and well-being of your puppy first. Don't take our word for it, here's what real customers have to say about PuppySpot.

What is a Puppy Mill?

What is a Puppy Mill?

A Puppy Mill is a substandard source for puppies that places profit above the welfare of its animals. A Puppy Mill is not only inhumane and cruel, but also typically operates in violation of the law or government regulations.

Zero Tolerance Policy

PuppySpot has a zero tolerance policy for puppy mills or substandard breeding practices of any kind.

Licensed by the USDA


PuppySpot is USDA licensed (cert. # 22-B-0087) and requires that every breeder in our network be licensed as well (unless they are exempt from licensing by the USDA). 

Breeder Screening, Vetting and Review

PuppySpot uses a data-driven system to evaluate and screen thousands of breeders across the nation in order to create our exclusive network of breeder partners committed to canine welfare. 

Our formal breeder application includes interviews, review of ownership and operational history, field visits, criminal background checks, facility review, compliance evaluation, government and humanitarian database review and veterinarian history.

Proprietary Breeder Screening

In addition to all USDA requirements, PuppySpot mandates a comprehensive, proprietary screening process that all breeders must pass at time of onboarding, and again annually. Our screening process was developed by our independent Scientific Advisory Board to exceed all national standards.

PuppySpot’s Breeder Standards

PuppySpot spends millions of dollars each year on our rigorous, proprietary screening and compliance program. This enhanced screening process has more than 100 points of emphasis for every puppy and its parents, and is managed by our dedicated Breeder Development team.  

Additionally, we promptly terminate breeders who violate or do not comply with our standards.

Veterinary Care

We require every breeder to maintain a formal relationship with an attending USDA-accredited veterinarian to maintain a Program of Veterinary Care (a PVC). PuppySpot breeders are also required to follow a minimum vaccination and worming schedule, established by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for all puppies and parents.


The living spaces for every dog must meet our standards. Some of the many factors we monitor include size, pet-friendly materials, aesthetics, ventilation, temperature, noise, flooring, bedding, lighting, cleaning, pest control, outdoor facilities, and more.

Training of Staff

We require every breeder to maintain adequate staffing to provide regular, quality care for every puppy and parent, and to conduct appropriate, comprehensive, and regular training for all staff.

Regular Check-Ins

PuppySpot stays in regular contact with our breeders, monitoring the quality of their operation and compliance with our breeder standards. 

Caring for puppies and their parents on a daily basis is about more than just government standards and health evaluations. We closely manage breeders' standards for everything from food and water to socialization, exercise, and enrichment. We expect breeders to consider the behavioral needs of their dogs and puppies by providing socialization, human interaction, and early neurological stimulation.

Our independent Scientific Advisory Board collaborates with the USDA to ensure we exceed all national standards.

The PuppySpot Scientific Advisory Board's mandate is to continuously enhance PuppySpot's industry-leading standards with substantive, science-based standards of practice for the company and our breeder partners. The Board members' expertise spans fields relevant to ensuring the physical and emotional long-term health of breeding dogs and puppies placed through PuppySpot's exclusive network of responsible breeders. Together we are setting a new standard for canine welfare.

  • John J. Goldberg

    John J. Goldberg

    Chairman, PuppySpot Scientific Advisory Board Former Sr. Science Advisor, US House of Representatives (22 years)

  • Prof. Raymond Anthony

    Prof. Raymond Anthony

    PhD, University of Alaska Anchorage Prof. of Philosophy, Animal and Food Ethics

  • Dr. Ron DeHaven

    Dr. Ron DeHaven

    DVM, DeHaven Veterinary Solutions, Former President and CEO, AVMA Former Administrator, APHIS, USDA

  • Dr. Kimberly Woodruff

    Dr. Kimberly Woodruff

    DVM, Assistant Professor Mississippi State University Shelter Medicine

  • Dr. Aaron Wise

    Dr. Aaron Wise


Our Fight Against Puppy Mills and Puppy Scammers

The PuppySpot Team is dedicated to working with key decision makers on Capitol Hill to fight against puppy mills and online pet scams. In an ongoing effort to ensure puppies come from responsible breeders, shelters or rescues, we are collecting any information from our community regarding possible pet scams. Please contact us with any info at (888) 671-0518.