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Buying Small Pets from Pet Stores

Buying small pets from pet stores is one of the most exciting experiences for a family. However, there are some things you should be aware of before you take the plunge.

Buying from a pet store

Buying small pets from pet stores offers certain advantages. As a general rule, pet stores are more accessible than other places where you can get pets. In fact, many times they’re located between your favorite department store and your kids’ favorite CD store. Location is one advantage that pet stores have over animal shelters or breeders.

Another advantage of buying small pets from pet stores is that you know you’re getting a new animal. If you go to a shelter, chances are you’re going to take on an animal that’s already had some experiences with humans, many of them negative. However, if you want to get small pets, a pet store is usually the way to go. It’s a lot harder to find hamster breeders than it is to find dog breeders.

Things to look for

When buying small pets from pets stores, pay attention. Just because it’s a pet stores doesn’t mean that it’s a reputable place nor does it mean that the animals are healthy and well cared for. When you walk into the pet store, pay attention to how the staff treat you and each other. Friendly staff that seems to work well together usually does so because they’re working in a good environment. The staff should also be knowledgeable. You wouldn’t buy your car from a car dealer that doesn’t know anything about the make and model of the car. Don’t buy a pet from someone that doesn’t know a thing about the pet.

Also, when you’re buying small pets from pet stores, thoroughly check out the animals. Do they look healthy? Animals with gunky eyes or abnormal skin growths probably aren’t healthy or well kept. Though it may be tempting to “save” these animals, chances are that they won’t survive. The animals at the pet store should be kept in clean cages and should be rather social. Steer clear of pet stores that keep their animals in feces covered cages and produce skittish animals.

Other options

You certainly don’t have to buy small pets from a pet store. If you’re not into buying small pets from pet stores, you can buy your pets from another pet owner or a pet breeder. Some people will sell their small pets such as gerbils or hamsters if they feel their animals aren’t getting the care they deserve. Many times you can find a breeder that will sell you a small pet. Again, whether buying small pets from a pet store or a pet breeder, make sure the animal is clean, healthy and lively.