Whether one is a first-time buyer, or an experienced one, the entire experience is exciting. Pet ownership is a vital decision that demands detailed planning. When one plans to buy a pet from a pet store, they have to thoroughly research before making the final decision. The market is flooded with an array of stores dealing with small animal supplies. The motto is to select a healthy, and happy pet and the one that suits the lifestyle of the pet parent.
Selecting a good pet store
This is one of the important initial steps that need to be undertaken. Choosing a good pet store is the essence of a happy and healthy pet. When one enters a pet store, he/she must observe the cleanliness and neatness of the store’s premises. Apart from evaluating the overall appearance of the pet store, the cages, and enclosures used for the animals must be maintained and clean enough. The following aspects must be looked for:
- A bright and spacious pet store
- Wide and easy to navigate aisles
- Regular cleaning and maintenance of cages and the overall store as a whole
The type of animals accessible
When one visits a good pet store, he/she will not come across all types of animals. This is mainly because of variability and the high cost of care. A general pet store has access to small animal supplies. It won’t have amphibians and reptiles as they require high maintenance and demands specialized care, raising the expense of the care. In case, one is interested in becoming pet parents to not-so-conventional animals, he/she must visit specialty pet stores that also involve amphibians and reptiles of different varieties.
Assessing the pet animals
The primary goal of the staff at a good pet store is to place the highest importance on keeping the animals healthy, clean, and happy. When one takes a walk around the store, it is recommended to see whether the animals appear clean, alert, well-fed, happy, and healthy. Pet stores also have sick animals, but in the majority of the cases, a visitor won’t be able to pay a visit to them. It is not unnatural to have sick animals in pet stores, as there is always a high probability of transmission of diseases.
If a visitor happens to come across a sick animal, it is wise enough to ask the staff about the reason for the sickness, and the treatment plan. In case, a pet store has a large number of sick animals on display, it might be an indication of a lack of proper care and maintenance towards animals. The store might be dealing with an array of small animal supplies but doesn’t show empathy towards them.
Asking a plethora of questions to the pet store staff
The staff at a pet store must have thorough know-how about the animals, the pet products sold, and the animal care implemented. Furthermore, the staff must also have a good understanding of the prevention and control of diseases. It is always recommended to ask questions to the staff and acquire useful and relevant information on pet ownership and care. The following aspects must be kept in mind:
- It must be kept in mind that local pet store staff will have less knowledge and understanding of animal care products than national pet store chains. This is because the national pet store chains deal with a plethora of small animal supplies, more than the local stores.
- One must ask the source of animals for the store. Some stores obtain the animals from places that raise them in poor conditions.
- It is also recommended to avoid buying pets from a store that obtains via unethical sources like puppy mills.
- Some of the questions that can be asked are:
- What is the frequency of medical care for animals?
- How frequently are the cages and enclosures cleaned?
- Which are the most popular animals?
- What is the method of preventing disease transmission between animals?
Doing the research
Once a specific pet store has been selected, it is time to start researching the type of pet animal one would like to purchase. Purchasing a pet shouldn’t be a rush decision. One must take the time to learn about the whole process before investing money. Seeking guidance from resources like online pet guides, a veterinarian, friends, and neighbors who have pets.
- One can also seek information from reputed breeders in the locality
- Visiting local animal rescue groups can be a great source of information as well
- One must understand that despite the knowledge of pet store staff, their prime motive is to sell pets. Seeking their information can be biased while buying a pet.
- While undertaking the research, one must consider the qualities of a specific animal one is planning to adopt.
Enquiring about an individual pet
When considering an array of small animal supplies, it is an overwhelming choice. Once the search has been narrowed to a particular pet, the potential pet owner can ask multiple questions about the pet and everything related to the animal. Asking about basic animal husbandry, Medicare care required if any, expected life, and so on. Getting a clear understanding of the questions can help in choosing the right pet. If there are kids in the home, it is important to choose animals that are kid-friendly, and safe. For instance, reptiles might not be a good idea as a pet. Though the staff is always motivated to sell animals, the information they provide is useful.
Physically assessing the animal
It is always important to examine the behavior and physical health of animals before buying from a pet store. Physical characteristics will vary between species, but a healthy and happy pet will appear alert, bright, well-fed, and will show no signs of illness.
- In case one is planning to buy a fish, he/she must look for a well-rounded stomach, clear eyes, bright colors, and so on.
- When one is considering a healthy reptile, the belly mustn’t show burns and bite-free and scratch-free skin.
- When one is without any knowledge about healthy appearance, seeking information from animal experts and veterinarians is the best option.
A pet store deals with a plethora of small animal supplies, along with reptiles and other non-conventional species. Seeking information and recommendations from friends and families regarding pet stores is an excellent way to get a hold of the right pet.