A few things we all need to consider before getting a pet.
A few things we all need to consider before getting a pet.
When purchasing a pet, the initial purchase can be quite costly. It depends on the type of pet and the quality of the pet (Pet, Breeder, Show) that a person chooses and how elaborate their habitat will be. After the initial purchase price some people overlook the fact that all pets are an ongoing expense and that they will require a significant financial commitment for the remainder of the pet’s life.
Listed below are just a few of the things that will be ongoing expenses that pet owners might incur during the pet’s lifetime. We feel that it is best to consider these things and include them into your budget, before purchasing a pet.
• Veterinary costs / Pet insurance
• Food, treats
• Toys, sleeping quarters, exercise wheels
• Cleaning supplies
• Boarding, traveling and transportation costs
• Replacing used equipment i.e. Food bowls, water bottles, cages, etc.
Do I have the time?
As a pet lover we need to realize and accept that if it breathes and eats, unexpected things can happen and whenever something unexpected happens, we need to be available to pick up the pieces. Sharing a home with a pet can bring a lot of rewards but it is not all just fun and joy. Caring for animals takes work. Keeping them and your home clean, grooming them, feeding them, vet check ups, etc. all take time. Some pets live a long time; therefore, we need to decide if we can commit to caring for this animal for that long.
Caring for animals properly takes a great deal of commitment and time to care for them the way they deserve to be taken care of. If you lead a hectic lifestyle or if you are a person who is not home a lot, works overtime often or likes to travel, getting a pet that is a high-maintenance type species may not be a good choice. If you are a person who doesn't mind grooming but can not see yourself spending a half hour every day brushing a long coated breed than perhaps a short coated breed would be a better choice for you. If you enjoy animals but do not want to interact with them for more than a few minutes everyday, mostly just feeding and watering them and cleaning their cage once a week, then perhaps a display animal would be better. If you are mostly a sedate individual, then perhaps a high energy pet isn’t for you.
Before we commit to taking on the responsibilities that comes with pet ownership, first we need to think a lot about our personal circumstance. Only then will we be able to decide how much time and for how long we can commit to caring for any pet. We all we need to feel confident knowing that we can and will be able to commit to a pet long-term; for as long as it lives. We always need to select the type of pet that best suits our lifestyle.
There are many species to choose from and perhaps after taking a closer look at your personal situation we may learn that perhaps a different species or even a more mature animal is a better choice for ourself. Whatever our lifestyle is, we might want to ask ourselves a few questions before we decide on what species or which breed, we are best suited for.
Some examples are:
• How energetic is this type of the pet?
• How much grooming is involved?
• Am I home enough?
• Do I plan on moving somewhere where my pet would not be welcome?
• What is the pet’s life expectancy?
• Should I consider getting a baby, or is an older animal a better choice for me?
Licenses and permits - (laws and bylaws)
There are many municipal, provincial and federal regulations that address and make regulations regarding the ownership of pets. Every province and municipality have its’ own set of rules and regulations pertaining to animals and their husbandry and these laws and bylaws are not always the same in each province or in other municipalities. Some require permits, some places have bans in place, others have no restrictions. This can be very confusing, but it is solely the responsibility of the purchaser to know their rights before they acquire, keep, maintain and own animals.
The seller also has obligations and restrictions regarding the keeping and sale of animals, but the laws are not always the same as those governing the purchaser. It really depends on where the seller lives. If the seller ships or sells their animals out of area the seller may not know nor is required to know the by-laws in other areas (that is solely the responsibility of the purchaser). It is important that the seller stays current with changes in law, that could affect them, in their area.
If buying or selling internationally the laws are very strict and vary from country to country. Both parties need to be familiar with both the import and the export laws as it pertains to live animals in both countries. If fees need to be paid for veterinary certificates, permits, licenses, etc., the costs associated with it are usually added to the purchase price of the animal by the purchaser. The purchaser will most often be required to pay for these fees in advance.
We suggest that before you proceed to purchase any animal that you first take some time and educate yourself regarding the laws as they pertain to your individual needs and situation. We suggest that you contact your local and provincial government. Start by asking if there is a law or by-law that is written, that states that a permit/license is required. (To avoid hearsay or receiving a clerk’s opinion, always be sure to use the word ‘written’ otherwise you will not have proof of the law). If there is a law/by-law written, ask if you can get a copy of it. When you do call and learn that there is a permit required, it might be wise to ask what the specific requirements are in order to get this permit/license.
(It is always a good idea to know the both the common name and the actual scientific species name for the animals that you are inquiring about; sometimes the written laws do not use common names).
Sometimes laws are archaic and perhaps some are based on a bias but for the most part the restrictions and regulations that are in place are there to protect the health and safety of people and their pets and for other animal that live in the area. Laws can change very quickly and sometimes it seems that they do so without notice. When buying, or selling any pet, stay current! Be sure that you are well informed and are familiar with up to the minute changes in the laws as these changes could affect you.
People often confuse club registration papers, versus municipal, provincial and federal regulations; legal registrations, licensing and other required permits. They are not the same thing. Very few clubs are authorized to speak on behalf of the government, the courts or city council. Sometimes they can quote and influence the law but clubs’ rules and laws/bylaws and are quite a different matter.
(We express our opinion and concerns regarding breed clubs and a few of some of the various clubs’ rules and we briefly discuss pedigree and animal registrations in more detail, elsewhere on this site.)
I am severely allergic and suffer a reaction to most types of pets, so this topic is very close to my heart! It is important that we except that we have allergies to pets, that way we can deal with them better.
(I say “we“ because I have suffered from severe pet allergies and other allergies for my entire life. Some species such as cats and rabbits will cause me to react violently while others do not seem to bother me quite so much but nonetheless, they still do affect me.
As a child, I suffered allergies and continue to do so as an adult. While living on a farm I was constantly exposed to several types of animals. Throughout life, our family always kept several species of animals. As an adult my career constantly involved working around animals. My career included working with large zoo animals, handling and training animal actors for television, dealing with vet clinics and in cruelty prevention and education for the various humane organizations.
People would often ask if me if I had a cold, but it was not until later in life after I went to an allergist and having a phenomenal number of allergy tests which revealed that there were not too many species of pets that I was not allergic to)
• Allergies to pets with fur or feathers are very common. 3 out of 10 people have them!
Most often people who are affected by allergies, start to suspect that they might be allergic pets long before they get a proper medical diagnosis. If this is the case, we just need to rely on our gut feeling, when we are trying to decide whether to buy a pet. It is entirely the responsibility of the purchaser to be aware of his or her allergies and their housemate’s allergies before purchasing and committing to a pet.
• When and if we agreed to sell you a pet we did so because you told us that you have done your research and that you are ready to bring home a pet to care for it forever. This would obviously include looking into whether you or someone else in the home suffers from allergies. Once you purchase a pet from us, it cannot be returned for a refund or for a credit
• If you suspect that you might be allergic to a certain type of pet perhaps to find out for sure if you have allergies, it maybe a good idea to find some who has a single pet and is willing to invite you to interact with it a couple of times. Quite often it can take more than a few minutes of exposure time a few times to find out if you will have a reaction to the pet in question.
We are commonly asked by people if they can come to our home to interact with our pets to see if they have a reaction. That is not a good idea. We have several species of pets and all of them are furry and produce dander, so it would not be an accurate way for you to tell which animal you might be reacting to.
• Being exposed to pets at an early age may help some people avoid pet allergies and some studies have found that children who live with pets during their first year of life may have better resistance to upper respiratory infections during childhood than kids who don't have a pet. This is not always the case.
• Sometimes we grow into and out of allergies.
• If you are a person that suffers from allergies to pets, then you also need to except the fact that there is NO SUCH THING as a hypoallergenic breed and for some of us there is NO SUCH THING as a hypoallergenic species.
(We have always had a dog and after our previous dog died, we decided to get another dog but this time we would get a standard poodle, ‘after all this is the breed of breeds as far as hypoallergenic dogs go - it is a breed that is promoted as being the one that is least likely to cause allergic reactions’. Well, for more than a decade, I have been making a weekly contribution to the Kleenex fund and I start to feel anxious whenever I am close to running out of allergy tabs. While some breeds, depending on the Allergy sufferer, may be a little bit of better choice …there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic breed.)
• We all react differently to all types of pets. In some cases, people with allergies to one type of pet will not react to other species. Some people with specific allergies may be more sensitive to one animal, certain breeds or to other species of animals than to others.
Allergens are what cause allergic reactions. An allergic reaction is an indication that your immune system is responding and attacking foreign substances in your body.
Allergens are present in the fur/hair, dander, saliva and urine that cats, dogs, birds. hedgehogs, mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc., produce. The dust from the bedding and litter or even dust from the pet’s food may also contribute to airborne allergens.
Having allergies is not fun, but life without pets is unimaginable for me. This is a choice and a decision I make for myself. You’ll need to decide what is right for your health but ultimately if you feel that you are likely to have allergic reaction to pets, you might want to avoid them. The choice is yours! Just remember that once you purchase a pet it is your responsibility to take care of it for the rest of its life.
If you are set on getting a pet and want to keep it forever, or if you already share your home with a pet there are a few things that you can try to do to help alleviate some of the things that trigger allergies…
• Choose a pet that you do not need to hold very often.
• If you like to hold your pet wear a smock and wash it regularly.
• Bathe your pet regularly and if possible, get a friend who does not have allergies to help bathe it or hire a groomer.
• Establish a pet-free zone and make sure that your bedroom is a pet free zone.
• Carpeting and fabric furnishings don’t mix with pets. Especially if you have allergies.
• Don’t allow your pet on furnishings that are not easily wiped with a damp cloth.
• Ask for help when it is time to clean your pet's cage, toys, etc. Friends usually don’t mind helping take care of pets.
• Use high-efficiency HEPA filters in your furnace, vents, vacuums and fans and make sure you clean and replace these HEPA filters often. Use an air purifier - High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers and vent filters may help reduce airborne pet allergens. A Filter with a MERV rating of 11 is thought to be ideal to filter pet dander while not interfering with air flow efficiency. (MERV rating is a scale from 1 to 16. indicating the Minimum. Efficiency Reporting Value for air filters we use in our homes.) Filters with higher ratings are good for controlling dust but they may not be as efficient because they may interrupt airflow.
• In good weather, if you can and if it is safe for the pet, take your pet outside often. Groom it outdoors. If your pet can spend a lot of time or live comfortably in a protected area outside, you can reduce the allergens in your home. This option isn't appropriate for most pets that live in Canada but living outside during the milder months may help.
Is everyone you live with on board with getting a pet?
- How do the people you live with feel about having a new pet in the house?
It is very important that everyone in the house agrees that getting a pet is a good idea. Sometimes before getting a certain type of pet, it will require a fair bit of discussion between all the housemates that will be sharing the home and who may be involved with the pet. Although they may not be one of the caregivers, still they really should enjoy having it around.
- Does any one in your home have a phobia regarding certain species of animal?
Phobias, no matter how irrational they may seem or how we feel about them, is irrelevant because they are very real to the person who experiences them. The results of having to deal with something that you are deathly afraid of daily, can be very traumatic on the phobic and will likely cause a lot of strife for the caregiver.
If someone is a bit nervous about getting a new pet, before bringing one home, perhaps the person who is fearful may be willing to go somewhere to get accustomed to handling one. Never buy a new pet thinking it is only a trial run. That attitude is totally irresponsible. Pets suffer from stress and need not be uprooted and re-homed whenever we simply feel like it.
- Is your spouse, partner, roommate or you, intolerant of pet odors, pet hair, pet dander, dirt or dust or some of the other realities of sharing your home with an animal?
This is very important to consider because nothing can take the joy out of pet ownership more than having someone complaining or feeling frustrated about it all the time.
Does anyone in the household have pet allergies? If so, it is probably better to avoid getting a new pet. After all it is your pet so why should someone else need to suffer.
- Do you or does any member of your household have health issues that may be affected by exposure to a pet?
Sometimes certain illnesses that people have make them more susceptible to other health issues. If any person living in your household has any type of illness it is probably a good idea to speak with your family doctor regarding the possible consequences of pet exposure.
- Do you or anyone in your household have health issues that may be passed on to the pet?
I am sure that this sounds like an odd question because this is something that we humans seldom consider when we get a pet. Some illnesses, especially funguses and bacteria can be passed back and forth between animals and humans. If you do have concerns, this is something to speak to your doctor or a Veterinarian about.
Landlords in Ontario (not including condominium)
Once you purchase a pet from us it cannot be returned for a refund or credit. It is entirely your responsibility to be aware of your living arrangements and that your situation accommodates pets. When we agreed to sell you a pet, we did so because you told us that you have done your research and made all the necessary arrangements. This includes your parents, landlords and condominium agreements.
People will often tell you all sorts of things that involve renting with pets but if you decide not to research this in detail by yourself, before purchasing a pet, you may be making an expensive and heartbreaking mistake.
Laws and bylaws may vary from province to province so always check with your local government if you rent and need to consider pets. Below, I have copied and pasted this page from the government of Ontario website which can be found on this page ... http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/faqs/#faq8
> Can a landlord refuse to rent to a person who has a pet?
Yes. A landlord can refuse to rent to a person who has a pet. A service animal is not considered a pet.
Can a landlord evict a tenant for having a pet?
A tenancy agreement cannot forbid a tenant from having a pet. And once there is a tenancy agreement, a landlord cannot evict the tenant simply for having a pet. This is true even if they agreed that the tenant would not have a pet.
However, there are some cases when the landlord can apply to the L.T.B. to evict a tenant who has a pet. These are some common examples:
• the pet is making too much noise, damaging the unit or causing other tenants to have allergic reactions;
• the breed or species is inherently dangerous (e.g. a tenant’s pit bull could be considered “inherently dangerous” even if it hasn’t bitten anyone).
• the rules of the condominium corporation do not allow pets like the one the tenant has.<
Veterinary Care - Choosing your Pet's Doctor
What is a licensed Veterinarian?
A Veterinarian is a doctor who is formally educated and licensed to diagnose and administer medical treatment to animals. They specialize in the health management of many types of animals, but some Veterinarians choose to specialize and only treat specific species.Responsible animal caregivers always have a Veterinarian available who they have selectively chosen to hire them to assist with an animal’s health care needs.
- Every Animal needs to have access to veterinary treatment when needed.
- Every animal deserves to receive regular veterinary care from a licensed Veterinarian at least once annually.
- If an animal is injured or if it is suspected of being ill, it should be taken to a Veterinarian immediately. Waiting can often result in the difference of life and death.
- It is always a good idea for all pet owners to educate ourselves. We should have at least some basic knowledge regarding our pet’s health care, but it is never a good idea to self prescribe medications to any pet.
- Never self diagnose any pet and never assume that what you read regarding animal health on the internet, is accurate. While a lot of people who exchange information online are very knowledgeable, nothing replaces a visit to a Veterinarian clinic where your pet can be examined and receive a proper health check-up by a professional.
Things to Consider when Choosing which Veterinarian to Hire
(Because we breed and sell animals and we use several Veterinarians to treat certain species. Not wanting to create a question of a conflict of interest or seem biased we prefer to remain neutral so, we never recommend a certain Veterinarian).
Not all Veterinarians are equal, one may be more knowledgeable while the other might have better bedside manner. So, it is very important that you carefully pick the right professional for the job.
There are many factors to consider before deciding on who is the right Veterinarian to hire. You ‘ll want to be able to rely on him or her for regular health check ups and to provide emergency veterinary care.
Tips that might help you decide on hiring the right Veterinarian.
- Choosing the right Veterinarian is a personal decision that needs a lot of thought and a bit of effort on behalf of the pet caregiver.
- When you are looking for a vet clinic and before you commit to using just anyone, ask friends, relatives, neighbors, local shelters or rescues who they use.
- Before making your final decision regarding which Veterinarian to hire call around and speak with the staff at several clinics.
- Be sure to arrange an introductory clinic visit.
- When calling to inquire about making an appointment, observe the attitude of the staff.
- Your 'Pet Care Philosophies' must be in line with the viewpoints of the Veterinarian. When it comes to caring for your pet’s health there are many topics that we simply will not agree on. Topics such as euthanasia, cancer care, chronic disease planning and spaying and neutering. If you and your Veterinarian do not agree on these philosophies, then you are probably better to choose a clinic where the professionals share your philosophies. Your vet., should always be able to help you make difficult decisions.
- Ask about the costs for routine visits, grooming, boarding, X-rays, etc., up front. Vet bills can add up quick. Therefore, this is a major consideration for many people before getting a pet. Also be sure to ask how they expect payments and if there is a credit line.
- Hours of Operation…Regular hours of operation are important for routine vaccinations and check-ups, but we all know things don’t only go wrong during business hours. Does this clinic offer emergency care and if so, is this done on site or at a different location? What are the after-hours policies and prices? You will want to know in advance because often there could be a huge difference then during regular clinic hours. In an emergency, the distance and the time it takes to get to an emergency clinic could be the difference between life or death for your pet.
- Location…Having a vet., close by is the most convenient but it doesn't out that way.I f lucky mean that you will find the clinic of your choice, but don't just settle. It may be worth the extra few minutes it takes to get to a more skilled Veterinarian or of the clinic that has extended hours.
- At your first visit notice if the waiting room is busy? If so, this can be a good sign! They have likely built a good reputation in the community and that they are respected, well-liked and a professional, hard-working clinic.
- Notice all of the ongoing interactions; the Veterinarian, the Veterinarian Technicians & Veterinarian Assistants; how do they interact with the animals and other people in the clinic. Does everyone that works in the clinic seem knowledgeable about the species and do they seem sensitive when interacting with pets?
- Sometimes, having too much for sale in a clinic is a red flag for me! I am not there to buy a new collar or toy. I am there for the health of my pet. How much of the waiting room is set up as retail space? Is this a retail store or a hospital? Sales versus care? You need to decide.
- Cleanliness! Is the clinic clean? Does it smell clean? Are the staff clean? Do the medical devices that are being used look clean and are they in good shape? Do they look like it is time for them to be replaced or are they up to date?
While interviewing a Veterinarian that you are considering hiring, be sure to ask a few questions before you commit to paying for their services.
- Longevity in the field?
- When did you graduate?
- Longevity at this clinic - How long have you worked here?
- Are they licensed?
- Do they have a diploma or what is their level of education?
- Do they continue to upgrade their studies?
- What is the level of experience you have working with the species they are treating?
Holding your Veterinarian Accountable.
- It is important that your vet., makes you feel comfortable and that you trust him or her to be honest and fair, always. Sometimes when animals get sick, emotions run wild and we become vulnerable. It is so very important that he or she is making the right decision and is not playing on your emotions and only recommends what is right for you and for your pet.
- Whenever you are in doubt ask questions and do not hesitate to get a second opinion from a different Veterinarian if need be. You have your pet’s best interest at heart, and you are your pets’ best friend and advocate! So, be sure to ask your Veterinarian anything you need answers to. You certainly do not want to have regrets later.
- If the pet is not suffering needlessly, there will never be a time when you should feel pressured into making a quick decision regarding your pet’s health. Tell your vet., that you would like to take time to think about you were just told and give him or her a date and time that you will get back to them.
Research, Research & More Research!
In today’s world, all of us face unprecedented changes daily, with that often accompanies and a lot of uncertainty. That is why it is vitally important that we keep on developing our knowledge base and continue adapting to the changes that are ongoing. Regarding animal husbandry and pet care, life-long learning is playing an increasingly important role in caring for animals. It helps us to be responsible pet owners and it is helping our pets live longer and happier lives.
Unfortunately, when deciding which pet to get, sometimes we put the cart before the horse thereby setting ourselves up for disappointment. Far too often people place more value and importance on what a pet looks like, how young it is, if it is a boy or if it is a girl, instead of what really matters! The most important thing about pets is understanding that we need to learn what they need to thrive happily. We need to fully understand the responsibilities and accept the fact that this is a living and breathing thing and that means that sometimes things do not go to plan, before we make a commitment to bring a pet home. Learning how to prevent some of the things that can go wrong begins before we make the decision to include a pet into our family. Then after we get a pet, we can never lose sight of what is the most important thing; caring for it for the rest of its life.
Before getting any pet be sure to do as much research as possible and never commit to taking in a new pet until you are confident that you can provide it with everything it needs and outstanding care, for the rest of its life. After getting a new pet be sure to continue to keep learning about it. Scientific knowledge grows leaps and bounds annually. What we learn today can have a huge influence how we care for our pets and the quality of life that the pets have.
Beware of everything you read and be sure to double check everything. Sometime, some of the things we read, see and hear, are obviously wrong while other things are questionable. Misinformation, myths and rumors regarding animals is rampant. This is in part due to because, owning pets is an emotional issue. Although fact less information is often not perpetuated maliciously, it quickly spreads by people who are well-meaning and motivated to share information but because they are emotionally charged and feel strongly about the issue they sometimes confuse feelings, versus looking at tall of he facts. Unfortunately, sometimes when emotions take precedence over the facts, it can put everyone and every animal at unnecessary risk. False facts cause mistakes that people who think are true continue making because they unfortunately do not even realize that they are making a mistake. Sometimes especially when dealing with animals, these false facts do lead to making mistakes that can be fatal.
When doing any research, we need to rely on our own common sense. If we second guess anything that we read, hear or see, then we need to investigate it further.
I have listed a few resources that I find helpful for when doing research.
• Libraries and Museums
• Veterinarians and Animal Specialists
• Long Term Breeders and Hobbyists
• Zoos and Zoological Societies
• Shelters and Rescues
• Animal Trainers and Behaviorists
• Friends and Family
• Pet Supply Stores
• The Internet
(The internet is quick and easy and if used properly can be a valuable resource for people doing research. However, even though much of the information posted online is true, there is also a heck of a lot of ‘False Facts’ and misinformation online too).
WHERE TO PURCHASE A PET
The best that we can do is to prepare ourselves by doing as much research as possible before we decide to acquire a new pet. Then we need to research the species of animal that we are hoping to acquire and prepare ourselves for the pet’s arrival. Things will usually go a lot smoother when we have everything in place and set up prior to bringing a new pet home.
Breeders...Ideally pets should be purchased from an experienced and conscientious ‘Specialist Breeder’ but sometimes finding the right breeder to deal with can be a challenge. Not all breeders raise animals for the same reasons and even the best breeders do not always have the same goals in mind when they decide to pair animals.
Most reputable breeders raise a certain type of animal, because they have a passion for the breed or the species. Unfortunately, sometimes less scrupulous people start farming animals for profit. This is often referred to as milling. High-volume breeders usually keep their animals confined to cages seldom allowing them exercise or have access to sunshine or fresh air. They usually don’t give a lot of thought or planning into breeding the pets that they raise because they are more concerned with making a profit and not truly committed to the welfare of animals. This perpetuates a cycle of irresponsible pet ownership and somehow seems to legitimize that it is okay to breed animals without giving much thought to health, personality and the overall well-being of the animals they produce.
Sometimes you will find a person claiming to be a breeder who allows litters to be born because they think babies are cute and that they can always ‘sell the babies. I hope they have buyers lined up around the block. If they do, do they screen these buyers before allowing one of their pets to go to live with them? Usually these people who allow their pets to breed have not given much thought into genetics, health or many of the other concerns that goes into responsible species management, most often these people will not be breeding animals for more than a year or so.
We have been in the hobby of raising a few species of animals that are kept as pets, for several decades. We do not look at breeding animals as a business.
like most professional breeders, breeding and raising pets is our hobby and it is also our passion. We need to have knowledge and experience to
and willing to make a lot of sacrifices if we hope that our hobby will be successful. A good breeder's animals are not deprived of proper nutrition, exercise, adequate housing or veterinary care. The hobby of raising and caring for animals is an expensive hobby. We sell our animals at a reasonable price and still we are lucky to break even.
I am not sure how a person can ever make a profit without cutting corners. I suppose you could make a profit but to make a profit raising pets you may need to make too many sacrifices. You would need to settle for substandard food supplies and husbandry equipment, and this can often lead to neglecting the basic needs of the animal, so our opinion is to ask, why bother with this hobby at all, especially when you truly enjoy keeping and raising animals.
There are good and not so good breeders. So, you'll need to decide whom you feel most comfortable with when you are purchasing your pet.
Pet Stores...Not all 'Pet Stores' are bad, nor are the people who work in them. Pet stores usually do not breed their own animals. They often purchase their animals from high-volume breeders. Certainly, you will meet some pet shop employees who lack the experience and the knowledge that a specialist breeder has gained over the years but it is up to you to seek out a knowledgeable person who you can trust and who can teach you some of things that you need to know regarding the care of that species. After all, it is retail and the salespeople are hired to do a job they are paid to do…sell! Although they may enjoy pets, they sometimes lack the experience caring for or educating people about that type of pet.
Pet Fairs and Expos...Pet Fairs and Expos are like satellite stores that are here today but could be gone tomorrow. They certainly do offer a variety of pet related services and sometimes they can be a good place to interact with different animals. Being that many breeders, hobbyists, pet stores and vendors come together under one roof there is usually a wealth of information to be shared. But beware, these venues also provide the perfect place for animal dealers pretending to be dedicated breeders, to sell and unload their wares and unfortunately sometimes this includes live animals whose origins can be questionable.
Animal Shelters...Shelters offer temporary sanctuary for homeless pets that need permanent caregivers. Some shelter animals make wonderful companions and come without too much baggage. Others have been scarred by years of neglect and therefore it may take a certain type of person who already has experience and is willing to work with this type of animal.
As heartless as this sounds, do not take in a shelter animal unless you a fully prepared to except all responsibility for it. It has already been abandoned at least once and it should never experience it again.
Adopting a shelter animal can be very rewarding but it is not for everyone.
Private Homes...Sometimes you can find people who are looking to re-home their pets. Whether the person is looking for someone to purchase their pet or if they are willing to give it for free, you need to be careful.
If this is a choice that you make and if you decide to get a pet this way, be prepared that you may never get the truth as to why the person has decided to re-home their pet. Most people are honest but there are some people who want their pet gone and they want it gone ASAP. When this happens, you could be inheriting problems that you have not bargained for.
The choice is yours...If you have done all your research and feel that you are able to detect a red flag and if you are comfortable with the people that you are dealing with then wherever you choose to purchase your new pet from should be okay. It is important to always be mindful whenever dealing with living things (plants or animals) that often things happen that no one can predict. Sometimes things do not always go the way we hoped, so we really do need to be prepared! Make sure that whenever you take on a new pet that you are certain that you are making an educated decision and are fully aware of the responsibility and commitment that you are making to any animal. Its' life may depend on you making the best decision you can.
Are you sure that you are ready?
It is human nature to feel we are ready to handle everything that comes our way. But deciding to get a pet is a decision we need to be committed to, for a very long time. We need to be ready to make a long-term commitment. Nowadays, due to easy access to veterinary care, advancement in understanding the nutritional needs and the overall quality of care that our animals receive, has increased their life expectancy considerably.
Before purchasing a new pet, to help you decide, making sure you are ready to commit ask yourself where you see yourself in two, five, ten and twenty years. If your vision does not include a pet, then perhaps this is not the right time to get a pet.
Never make a hasty decision. Give yourself time to think about purchasing a new pet. Don't let anyone rush you into a decision or pressure you into making a choice that isn't right for you. If it is not right for you then it likely won't be right for the pet either!
The presence of a new pet in your home will certainly require you to change your lifestyle. Every pet has needs and they require constant attention and care. If you are not prepared to adapt your lifestyle to the responsibilities associated with having an animal, then bringing a pet home may not be a wise choice for you.
Below are some of the most common reasons (EXCUSES) that pet owners use when they decide to abandon their pets. These are some of the things we need to consider whenever we are thinking about getting a new pet. We may want to avoid getting a new pet right now if we foresee these changes coming up soon or if we do not feel that we can deal with it right now.
• The added mess in the home.
• The time needed to care for them properly.
• Landlord disputes.
• The need to relocate for a new job.
• Downsizing to a smaller home.
• Divorce and separation.
• New relationship.
• Newborn babies.
• Financial concerns.
• New job.
• Death in the family.
• Other pets in the home.
• Not enough space in the home.
Choosing a Breeder.
These are a few things to consider before choosing a breeder.
Some are RED FLAGS that everyone needs to be aware of as they might be signs of a bad breeder:
Does the breeder/seller agree to sell you a pet through email or through texting?
Most people who have been considering purchasing a pet want to feel good about the person they choose to purchase their pet from. They will want to ask a lot of questions before they decide to purchase any pet. They will want to know that the breeder is an ethical person and know that the pet is coming from a reputable breeder, who is conscientious and dedicated to the well-being of the pets they raise.
Before a reputable breeder will agree to sell any animal, they will likely want to get to know a bit about the person that will be purchasing the pet that they are selling. They will want to know that the person has done a lot of research and understands the needs of the animal they are thinking of purchasing. They will want to know that the purchaser will be providing a forever home for the pet that they have been raising and caring for. They will want to know where they will be living and they want to know that the person that is purchasing their pet has the best interest of the pet in mind.
When buying, and selling live animals it can be very challenging to develop a report and communicate effectively through email or text. Each pet has their own unique personality and every animal is unique in its’ own way. Therefore, there needs to be a discussion about it.
If a breeder agrees to sell you a pet without speaking with you on the phone or in person, it might be wise to continue looking for another breeder.
Does the breeder wholesale?
If so, they probably are large scale breeders (farmers?) who may have too many animals to care for and socialize properly. It takes time to provide every animal with one on one interaction. To keep up the wholesale demand if they hope to even break even on their expenses, they will likely need to scrimp where ever they can to cut costs (at the animal’s loss). They will also need to breed them in volume which could mean repeatedly breeding a single animal to exhaustion. Which means that they could be putting the health of mothers and babies at risk. People who breed animals with the hopes of selling them to pet stores or brokers are usually not into keeping and raising animals as a hobby. It is farming and many farmers will view it as a business, in terms of a profit and loss scenario and when that happens with pets, everyone loses.
Does the breeder invite you to meet and view their pets, prior to committing to purchasing the pet?
When first talking with a good breeder, if the breeder seems a little indifferent know that it is nothing personal. It is not uncommon for people who are truly passionate about animals to sometimes come across as being somewhat aloof. It is important to understand that the breeder already has a lot of time and money invested into their pets and into their hobby. They have already developed and established an emotional attachment to all their pets and want the best for their animals.
During your initial conversation both you and the breeder will be gauging one another trying to sum everything up hoping to figure out how serious and dedicated each one is about the animals. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise why a breeder would not want to spend time with people who do not have genuine interest in the pets they raise. You as a purchaser will need to reassure that your interest in their pets is sincere. Reputable breeders are often not great sales people and many would prefer to spend time caring for their pets than to put much effort into selling them, especially to a stranger. Once both of you feel that the interest is mutual, the conversation will likely start to flow better. This is the ideal time for the purchasers and the breeder to ask a lot of questions.
After speaking with one another if you both agree that this would be a good fit ,most often a dedicated breeder will want to meet you! Upon meeting you, if they feel that you would be a suitable candidate for one of their pets they will invite you to view the pet and they may even agree to sell you a pet.
If you agree to meet, ALWAYS be considerate. Most reputable breeders are hobby breeders who invest a lot of time into their hobby which is usually done from their home. When they agree to meet, keep in mind that they are actually inviting a total stranger into their home. As with most people, breeders’ lives are busy. They often work outside of their homes and have lives that extend beyond the realm of their breeding hobby so always be sure to respect time limits and personal boundaries.
If you are the type of person who feels that you are doing the breeder a favor, you are fooling yourself. (You are better off just staying home because the breeder will pick up on your arrogance.) On the grand scheme of things, the little money that you are paying for the pet does not compare to what the breeder has invested. So if the breeder feels at anytime that you are being inconsiderate he or she might wrap things up and you may be leaving empty handed. The breeder knows that there is a lot of considerate people who want to purchase from them.
Is the price reasonable? (If they are too inexpensive then something may not be right.)
It is very difficult to compare pricing on animals because no two animals are the same. The time of year, age of the animal, availability, colour morph, lineage, gender, etc., are a few things to consider that influence the price of the pet. Low prices are never realistic because animals are not cheap to raise or care for, therefore if you feel that the asking price is surprisingly low then it might be wise for you to ask yourself why? There is a high probability that something is not right. Are they buying and selling from pet farms? Are they trying to unload these pets and if so, why? Low prices could also be a sign that corners are being cut to save on costs. When you cut corners while caring for an animal, there are not many places to save. Other than on the costs of nutrition, veterinary care and habitats, therefore being that this is not an effective way to raise animals, purchasing any pet from them just motivates a person to repeat the same thing over again. When breeders scrimp on the basics it may not always be apparent when you make your initial purchase but over time it will likely become noticeable and perhaps, problematic in the long run.
Does the breeder offer support after you have made the purchase?
There is a high probability that you may eventually need the guidance or help from the breeder after taking your pet home. Good breeders will want to hear from you. Not only do they feel a sense of obligation to their pets and to their customers, they will also want to know that the pet is settling in okay. We hear from people years after a pet leaves our home and we look forward to getting pictures and seeing how well they are doing. Even when things go wrong we like to hear about it because that can help us by influencing some of our decisions when choosing which animals to pair together in the future.
Does the breeder ask you questions about your lifestyle and experience with animals?
Any ethical breeder will want to know that their pets will be going to homes where they will be well cared for and loved. They will likely want to know your level of experience and if you are home enough to care for the pet. There needs to be financial stability to cover basic needs, vet care and so many other things that a lot of questions may need to be asked. Sometimes it may feel a little like an interrogation but that is not what it is meant to be. If it seems too personal it is just that the breeder wants to know where their pet is going and how it will be treated.
Even we feel that sometimes there are a few breeders who cross the line! In these instances, we back away from them. This is an absolute red flag! There are other issues going on and that this could be an unsafe transaction or become problematic down the road.
The best thing is to always be forthright and share your level of experience, your commitment by divulging a limited amount of information a bit about yourself with the breeder. Keep your personal information limited and accept that if this is not good enough for them, then you’ll simply need to back away.
Does the breeder charge extra because an animal is registered or because it has a pedigree?
If you are buying an small specialty animal to keep as a pet with no intentions of breeding it and the breeder charges you more for a registration or pedigree for a pet, run!
Pedigrees are not important when owning non-breeding animals. They are used by breeders to track lineage otherwise their value is only the cost of a piece of paper and ink used to print them.
Generally speaking, registering small exotic pets is a little gimmicky and often it is used as a sales ploy. Clubs come and go and registering or providing pedigrees for small exotic pets that are not going to be used for breeding does not really have any benefit to you or the pet. It cannot be compared to registering domesticated livestock such as dogs, horses etc. whose standard of perfection is constantly developing and people dedicate their lives to perfecting a breed.
Nowadays, anyone can choose to buy registration papers without the help of a breeder. There are a lot of clubs that offer this sort of cute service. For a small fee, most types of small animals can be registered with certain clubs. If you are not planning to breed them, you’ll need to decide if it is worth any additional fees.
Registration papers do not include much of anything and pedigrees which are diagrams breeders use to track lineage regarding genetics and to review family history, seldom are useful when dealing with pets.) These two things are not what increases the actual value of a pet. The value is in the animal itself; the actual genetics and DNA, combined with how the animal was raised does. ( PERHAPS HOW THEY ARE RAISED IS WHAT SHOULD REALLY MATTER THE MOST)!
If a breeder is selling you a breeding animal you can expect to pay more because it is a lot more involved but if you are not buying a pet for breeding purposes than registration or pedigree papers does not really help you with your pet. We have a section dedicated to registration, pedigrees and showing pets on the F.A.Q. page on this site. Why not take a few minutes to review it?
Breeders who also sell supplies
If you feel that a breeder is trying to sell you an animal and also trying to get you to purchase supplies to go with that animal, you should probably recognize this as another red flag. Conscientious breeders are not pet stores and typically do not sell supplies. Instead they focus on information and hope that by educating the caregiver they are doing what is best for the animal.
Good breeders are never in a rush to sell their animals.
If you feel that a person is rushing you into deciding to purchase the pet on the spot, do not hesitate to back away from the sale, if you are not ready. You should take all the time you need before deciding to buy a pet. If someone else takes it, there will likely be more to choose from later.
One of the small challenges that we PERSONALLY face as breeders is when we know that more than one person is seriously interested in purchasing the same pet, at the same. This happens a lot more often than someone might think. Of course, we do not want to disappoint anyone so, we need to decide whether to tell a person to take their time, even though we know that it is likely not going to be available within the next day or two. (We try to be honest but we also try not to make them feel pressured in to buying any animal).
Understand that when a reputable breeder is telling you that someone else has shown interest then it is probably true. They aren't usually pressuring you, they are just trying to be courteous as they don't want you to get your hopes up only to be disappointed. STILL DON'T RUSH!...We prefer everyone takes their time before deciding on choosing a pet.
Availability for our animals is unpredictable and usually changes very quickly! We have no reason to use sales ploys to sell our pets and we are never in hurry to sell a pet. We know that there is someone new who will be contacting us soon, looking for a new pet and that this animal will be in a new home very shortly.
You may notice that sometimes when a desperate breeder is trying to make a sale he or she may occasionally turn to bashing other breeders and hobbyists. This is more likely happen when sales people are trying to manipulate a sale in their favor. I have never been impressed with anyone that feels that this type of behavior is acceptable. It never impresses anyone. I certainly have no time for anyone who feels the need to gossip. To me gossip is a red flag! It reflects the lack of character of the breeder or anyone else who is spreading gossip.
Good, ethical breeders like to brag about their own animals but they do not bother to get involved by gossiping other breeders, pet stores veterinarians etc. Good breeders support each other and are usually willing to help so if a breeder is speaking negatively about other people it could be more of a sign of a (pressure) sales tactic. I suggest, not to pay too much attention to negative information (gossip) which involves other people. Just try to be polite and listen closely to what they are saying, 'not so professional ethics', you will likely hear other things that could very-well be other red flags pertaining to their own breeding practices.