Councilman Joe Carchio, who introduced the item, asked the council to consider the ban to keep up with the city's reputation of being animal-friendly. The city has a dog beach and dog parks.
Carchio showed a video to illustrate the deplorable conditions of dogs in puppy mills, where some retail stores obtain the animals to sell.
The mills, Carchio said, contribute to the large number of abandoned dogs. More than 15,000 dogs and cats were put to sleep in the county last year, mainly because they couldn't find a home.
At least a half dozen residents and animal advocates spoke during the meeting, urging the council to eliminate what they said is inhumane treatment of man's best friend.
Resident Eliana Sinkey said at least one establishment in Huntington Beach placed a sign on a neglected dog that says: "Take me home today."
The council voted 4-2, with Mayor Don Hansen and Councilman Devin Dwyer dissenting. Councilman Matthew Harper, who left the meeting before it concluded, was absent during the vote.