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Having a pet enriches the lives of both of the owner and the pet. Acquiring a pet should not be random or difficult. With a bit of preparation, the selection of the perfect pet can be as pleasurable and exciting as the years spent with one. Here are some ideas on how and where to find the ideal match.
A Pet Shop
Pet shops are an excellent resource for the would-be pet owner, as they not only provide a selection of a wide variety of animals, they can also offer valuable information as to what kinds of animals fit any given living situation. Before visiting pet shops, however, it's a good idea to have a plan to prevent returning home with the first sad-eyed animal that tugs at the heart strings.
First, have a specific animal in mind. If birds are what is desired, consider the various breeds and do a bit of research into their habits. The same research should be performed for a dog & cat, hamster, or any possible companion. Second, get an idea of the price range for the particular animal so that overpaying doesn't happen. Prices can vary widely at pet shops, so it's important to be informed.
Finally, examine the pet carefully. Does it look healthy? Does it seem friendly? Is it vicious? Most pet shops will allow customers to play around for a little while with any animal they are considering purchasing. Take advantage of this to make sure the animal has a desirable personality.
For those who know exactly what they are looking for, a breeder is a reasonable option. Dog & cat aficionados desirous of a specific breed can get the "pick of a litter" at a breeder, and since only a few breeds are offered at pet shops, those looking for less common breeds must seek out a breeder.
Purchasing from a breeder does have some advantages. The buyer is able to see the living conditions the animal has been raised in, unlike a pet store. A good breeder will also have detailed records of an animal's lineage, specifically including health information. This is extremely valuable to a potential buyer, as the investment in specific dog & cat breeds can be hefty, and knowing that an animal has a lineage characterized by good health and long life is important.
If the main reason for getting a pet is altruistic, a shelter is a good option. Shelters rescue lost or abused animals that would have otherwise suffered unimaginable fates. Dogs & cats are the most common animals to find at shelters, but occasionally there are birds, ferrets, rabbits, and other common household pets that have been rescued.
The adopter of a pet from a shelter should be aware of the potentially difficult behavioral issues a rescue animal may have. For example, dogs & cats that were abused by being struck with a cane may very well react aggressively whenever they see one. While it may take a little time to develop a level of trust that is mutually beneficial, it is well worth the effort.
The average pet store may have a few fish, but for the serious fish seeker, a store dedicated to tropical fish and aquarium supplies is a necessity. Tropical fish require a unique, highly regulated environment, and much of the equipment needed to create that environment will only be found at a tropical fish store.
Stores specializing in tropical fish will be able to answer any question concerning them and give a good idea of the time and resources that will be required to keep these amazing and exotic pets. Aside from the fish themselves, buyers will find most fish stores to be excellent aquarium retailers. Not only can the ideal aquarium be obtained, but aquarium accessories like filters and aerators are also available. Cool aquarium lighting products are often available at these stores to give any fish tank that far out look.
Like tropical fish, certain exotic birds will only thrive under specific, controlled environments. Pet stores and shelters will usually have common birds, but to get the unique breeds, shoppers will need to find a reputable breeder. A breeder will also be able to answer questions about the compatibility between a particular bird and other pets.
Boarding & Sitting
Once an animal has been brought into the home and become part of the family, there will inevitably be times that boarding & sitting will be required. Whether due to business obligations, family demands, or a vacation, animals are not allowed everywhere. Finding a location for boarding & sitting that is trustworthy will allow the necessary separation to be easy on both owner and animal.
Word of mouth is a good place to start. Do friends and neighbors have any personal experience with boarding & sitting locations in the area? What have their observations been about the facility? Once a boarding & sitting location has passed the word of mouth test, it's a good idea to check it out in person prior to leaving an animal there.
Does boarding & sitting building seem clean? Do the animals seem well-treated? Do the workers look attentive? If the answers to these questions are yes, consider the search done. Just make sure to examine a pet carefully after receiving it back from a care facility to ensure that there are no suspicious injuries.
A Lifetime of Benefits
There are numerous studies that show the benefits to owning a pet. There are advantages such as lower blood pressure for owners, increased activity levels, stronger immune systems, and fewer missed days from school for children with an animal in the home.
Psychological boons include higher self-esteem among pet owners, a more positive outlook on life in general, fewer reported feelings of loneliness and depression, improved social skills, and enhanced feelings of safety and well-being.
Consider the acquisition tips mentioned above and find that perfect companion. Doing so will bring a lifetime of benefits to both animal and owner.