Book Review: The Dog Merchants

The Dog Merchants, by Kim Kavin (published May 2016), is subtitled, Inside the Big Business if Breeders, Pet Stores and Rescuers.

From the book jacket:
“The Dog Merchants is the first book to explain the complex and often surprisingly similar business practices that extend from The American Kennel Club to local shelters, from Westminster champions to dog auctions.

“Without judging dog lovers of any stripe, Kavin makes is clear that money spent on among these dog merchants has real-world effects on people and canines. She reveals how dog merchants create markets for dogs, often in defiance of the usual rules of supply and demand.”
Kim Kavin is a dog lover, and she has “fostered nearly twenty mutts pulled from high-kill shelters.”

A few of the intriguing chapter titles include: Luxury Packaging, Big Production Companies, Lemons Versus Steals and Smart Shopping.

The book is a great read. And the Smart Shopping chapter alone is worth the price for me. Kavin says that in order to right all the wrongs in the commercialization of dog ownership, all of us dog lovers need to “use our collective power to speak the only language everyone in the dog industry understands: the language of money.” She quotes Sam Walton, “There is only one boss: the consumer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”



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