General Information Every Pet Owner should Know

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 6th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Tips & Advice

In the pet industry there are some general rules of thumb that pet owners should be aware of and keep in mind. These are just some of those basic rules for pet people.

Pet Stores Goal is Profit

Pet stores sell pets, they come across as being an ideal place to purchase a pet, and a great place to work if you love animals. In truth they are still stores, in the business of business. The staff is not working so much with the animals, as they are with the public, trying to get a sale.

Very often the staff are young and not always familiar with every species of animal, and will sometimes lie (although sometimes it is due to lack of true knowledge) in order to get a sale. Sometimes pets are misrepresented, information about common breed faults is not given. For example buyers of Chinese Crested Dogs are seldom informed that these dogs nearly always require expensive dental surgery.

Worse still the pets come from mass breeders, in the case of puppies, they come from Puppy Mills, often purchased through a Puppy Broker. This means little care is given to their genetic, or mental, health prior to arriving at the store. It also means thousands of adult animals spend their entire lives in tiny cages doing nothing but breeding. Although illegal in some areas, they still exist, and pet stores still support them even though they say they do not. After all, who else would need to sell a cute pup at a store? Who else would not want a buyer coming to their home to pick a pup and meet the mom?

The number one thing all pet lovers should know is if they buy from a Pet Store, they support cruelty. They are not saving the life of a puppy, they are condemning the parent dogs to horrible conditions. This is true of most animals in pet stores, but puppies are an easy example.

Purebred does Not mean Quality

Registration papers only proves the breed of a pet, it does nothing more than that. Many lower quality pets are sold at higher prices simply because they have registration papers. Many people think that all their pet needs to be worthy of being bred, is registration papers. Smart pet owners recognize that a good, reputable breeder, takes their pet to shows to prove that it is genetically superior and worth breeding. They also have a veterinarian examine it for any genetic problems, in the case of dogs, this may be hips, eyes, and ears.

In most areas it is illegal to advertise a pet as a Purebred unless it has registration papers, it is also illegal to offer a pet for sale for one price with the papers, and one price without.

Buyers should note when buying a pet the price should reflect the show record of the parent, no show record means the dog is not a top quality dog. Breeders who are unwilling to show a dog to prove its worth as breeding stock are simply out to make money without really trying to improve the breed.

Animal Shelters do not Want to Kill Pets

Animal Shelters do not kill unwanted pets as their first choice. Euthanasia is only a last resort, when a pet is in pain, unadoptable, or the shelter is full. Many people refuse to support shelters who practice euthanasia, but not every shelter can be a No-Kill shelter, or we would soon find the streets littered with discarded pets, because No-Kill shelters are forced to refuse admittance of pets when they are full.

Animal shelters in most areas are required by law to hold stray pets for 72 hours before they can do anything with them. Most hold the animals for considerably longer, allowing an owner to look for their lost pet. Then the decision is made if the pet is to go up for adoption or not. If it does it is vaccinated, vet checked, and so forth. Once this care has gone into a pet, the shelter is in no rush to euthanize it. Shelters give animals every chance at getting a home, the end result is dependent on the publics willingness to adopt.

Not all Pet Foods are Good Quality

Pet food really does make a difference. Cheaper food may often cost more in the long run because your pet eats more of it to get their nutrition. Better foods use more meat and higher quality ingredients, thus the pet eats less, and poops less too. This is a lesson my wife taught me as I really had no idea about it before I met her. Grocery stores and department stores sell only the cheaper foods, the ones that use a lot of filler and are harder for the pets to digest. Top pet foods are harder to find, sometimes not even the big box pet stores sell them.

A pet owner can look for better foods at their groomers, stores that sell only pet supplies, not pets, smaller independent pet stores, and livestock feed stores. An easy way to spot a bad food is the use of “by-products” or if corn is in either of the first two ingredient positions. By-Products are fairly undigestable but are also preserved with a dangerous chemical pesticide, so should always be avoided. Foods that use human grade ingredients are great. Be aware even your veterinarian may not recommend a good food, most vets do not receive special training on ingredients or food brands and promote a food that pays them to.

Spaying and Neutering has many Benefits

There is no health benefit for a pet by allowing it to have one, or more, litters before spaying it. Spaying and neutering really does save lives. With over 4 million animals euthanized in American shelters every year, and thousands more killed by owners who are burdened with unwanted litters, spaying and neutering takes a load off the glut of unwanted pets. If a kitten finds a home it is lucky, but it has taken the home of another kitten sitting in a shelter.

Spaying and neutering also reduces a large number of diseases a pet may get, including many cancers. For cats and dogs, Female animals can, and should, be spayed at 6 months of age. Males can be neutered at 8-10 months of age. Either animal should be kept indoors, or in a properly fenced yard, until they are fixed.

Links of Interest

A Guide on Cat Care

A Guide on Pet Rabbits

What to do if you are Bitten and Worried about Rabies

Exotic Pets Blog

How to Find Low Cost Spay or Neuter Programs for your Pet

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Advice, Animals, Cat, Cats, Dog, Dogs, Exotic Pets, Feeding, Owners, Pet, Pet Care, Pet Care Tips, Pet Food, Pet Store, Pets, Training, Veterinarian

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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author avatar Sourav
6th Jun 2010 (#)

I liked the article. It's very well written and informative.

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author avatar Erik Van Tongerloo
7th Jun 2010 (#)

Good advice

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author avatar Caveat
9th Jul 2010 (#)

beautifully done.

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author avatar Alexandra Heep
1st Oct 2010 (#)

Although I have had cats for many years of my life, I only recently found out about the pet foods issues on a TV station called Veria. I am glad you mentioned this in your article.

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author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
20th Nov 2010 (#)

This is a wonderful article that every pet owner should read. It pisses me off to no end that there people out there who think that pets are toys they can simply play with in their free time.

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author avatar aesoplado
30th Nov 2010 (#)

Me and my wife have no kids and we always wanted to have pets but our apartment does not allow us to have one. We will be transferring soon so I'm excited to have one. :>

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