Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers. Learn more about us here.
Buying a puppy from a pet store is not the same as buying a puppy from a breeder. A breeder will raise puppies with love, care, and attention.
As they are the experts on the particular breed, they can teach you how to properly socialize your new addition to your family and do everything possible to make sure that your pup grows up healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.
When you buy a puppy from a breeder, you can know its history and its parents, and the breeders often have a guarantee in place about their health.
The thing is, different breeders operate differently, and not every single one of them is going to be ethical nor reputable.
Horror stories have been shared before and many owners have also complained about unusual provisions from the breeder.
In this post, I will talk a little about why breeders are so pushy about NuVet. If you have ever asked the question, “Why does my breeder require NuVet?”, this article is for you.
What is NuVet?
NuVet is a California-based company that has been manufacturing pet supplements since 1997. Their products include immune system builders, hip and joint support, shampoos, and skin sprays amongst others.
It is stated on their website that their products are made in an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) registered lab and are manufactured and fully compliant with all current Good Manufacturing Practices.
If you are keen to learn more about FDA and its role in pet food, check here.
Complaints about NuVet
While NuVet has a long history in the pet supplements industry, its reputation does not seem to be enviable.
After some digging, it appears that they received a warning letter from the FDA about misrepresenting its products back in 2016. I cannot find anything more recent than that.
The complaint was about their products being unapproved animal drugs and they were not authorized to market them.
Pyramid scheme and breeders
Another common complaint against NuVet might be of more interest to you, especially if you have been asked, or in some cases, demanded, by your breeder to purchase NuVet supplements through them for your new dog.
It seems to be quite common to see breeders include a clause in your contract that states that you are required to feed your new dog NuVet supplements, and the contract would be void if you don’t comply.
That means that you will have no recourse against them should any health issues come up later.
Reports and comments from fellow owners indicate that some breeders even attempt to leave out this in the contract but puts it in a new one when you pick up your dog.
This is in my opinion, illegal and unethical. It screams MLM marketing!
A reasonable assumption would be that the breeders are receiving high amounts of kickbacks or commissions from NuVet, thus prompting them to promote it so aggressively.
I would not be surprised if the percentage is 40-50%, or even higher.
Here is a well thought out opinion piece about NuVet.
Why does my breeder require NuVet? My thoughts
When it comes to puppies, it is unlikely you will need much help from supplements as long as you provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet.
An exception might be when your vet tells you otherwise due to certain deficiencies. However, that should be highly unlikely if your breeder is doing its job well.
I do not find any real evidence of how NuVet can be beneficial to pets. Testimonials are useful but have no context if you cannot see any proof that the product does what it claims.
While I do not necessarily think that NuVet is the main culprit here, they do have to bear part of the responsibility. Make the relationship clear as day for owners.
One of the things that really puts me off is breeders forcing owners to use NuVet, some for up to a year or even more.
That is totally unacceptable. Why should a breeder dictate the kind of supplement you give to your dog? Worse? They threaten that they will not be responsible if the “terms” are not followed.
These are all signs to avoid breeders that use such low-handed tactics and blacklist them.
In fact, I know that there are several breeders who are doing the same thing with other supplement companies such as Life’s Abundance.
If you are buying from a breeder, be sure to ask and look through the contract before signing or paying anything.
Ask them for a copy to review and get it in writing (email) that this is the only contract you will need to sign.
You should also do your homework first by reading reviews about the breeder you are going to. The experiences of fellow dog owners are incredibly valuable in this instance.
In conclusion: NuVet from your breeder
Do your due diligence before buying a dog (or in fact any animal) from a breeder. This is the best way to prevent nasty surprises from springing up that can cost you hundreds or thousands more.
I would recommend that you ask around your friends and family for recommendations and talk to them about their experiences first. A chat with a vet might be very useful too.
And lastly, do not feel compelled to accept everything that the breeder says. I know, you are dying to bring a puppy home, but getting off on the right footing is equally important.