Where to Shop For Pets - Part 9 of 12
If you have made the decision to get a pet for your children, consider adopting a dog or a cat from the local animal shelter. When you rescue an animal from the pound, you will find a loyal and devoted companion for life. It is almost as if the animal “knows” that you rescued it from doom and is grateful.
Most animal shelters have both dogs and cats as well as other animals such as rabbits and other assorted small mammals such as hamsters and gerbils. Many people get pets and, for one reason or another, have to get rid of them.
If you get a dog or a cat from the animal shelter, they will most likely spay or neuter the animal for free. They will also probably give it all of its shots. You will have to pay a nominal fee to adopt the pet, but it will end up to be much less expensive than getting a dog from a breeder and having to take it to the vet for shots. If you get a dog, it will most likely have a microchip in it so that if it is lost, it can be returned to you if it is taken to another shelter or a vet’s office.
While the chances are slim that you will get a pure bred puppy at an animal shelter, you can find a wonderful mixed breed dog that is a little older who will make a perfect companion for your children. The people at the shelter often keep a record of the dog’s history and you can find out whether it is housebroken as well as if it is good with children and other pets.
When you adopt a cat or a dog from an animal shelter, you should bring the kids with you so that they can pick out the animal. You will most likely have to provide information to the people who run the shelter before they allow you to take a look at the dogs. While many of the dogs are strays, others are simply out of a home be cause the family moved or someone was allergic to the dog. In some cases, a person just didn’t have the patience to train the animal and did not have the time to spend with the dog.
People at the animal shelter will advise you on what type of dog you should get. Some dogs do not make good pets for families with young children. One of the best aspects about getting a dog from the pound, in addition to saving an animal’s life, is the fact that the people who work at the shelter normally know way more about dogs than you. They can tell you which type of dog will go best for your children.
Little children will do better with a midsized dog. Little dogs can be too fragile for little children who can play somewhat rough with the dog. A little dog can easily be hurt with too much rough housing.
A larger dog can actually hurt small children most likely inadvertently. Large dogs sometimes don’t know their own strength and can knock a child down.
Most of the dogs at the animal shelter will be mixed breed dogs. Mixed breed dogs sometimes make better pets for families with children. They tend to be less aggressive than some pure breeds and are usually smarter. They also tend to have less health problems than purebreds. When buying a breed dog, you have to look at lineage and make sure that the animal was bred properly. Many pet stores get dogs from puppy millsin which dogs are inbred and have undesired qualities such as aggressive tendencies, are not bred out of the dogs.
Many of the mixed breed dogs at the shelter are just average dogs, in need of a home, and are the result of pet owners not having their dogs spayed or neutered. Most of them make excellent pets.
In addition to the animal shelters, you can also get an animal from a pet store. People who want a puppy often get a dog from a pet store as most of the dogs that wind up in the pound are older dogs. When getting a dog at the pet store, you can see how the animal interacts with your children. The pet store will allow your children to play with the dog in a small pen.
A puppy may be less intimidating to young children and is not likely to be aggressive.The puppy can grow up with the children and will come to think of them as “part of the pack.” Most animal lovers will agree that puppies and small children together make an adorable pair.
Another place you can go to get a puppy o reven a dog is a dog breeder.
Dog breeders usually specialize in certain breeds of dogs. Most dog breeders are breeding dogs for show quality. Not all of the puppies in a litter will be show quality dogs. Some will be “pet quality.” This means that they are not quite up to showing, due to markings, a crooked tail or some other minor flaw in the animal. Breeders are usually eager to get rid of the puppies that are “pet quality” and these animals are priced much cheaper than those in the pet store.
To find a breeder, take a look in your local newspaper or online. Here you can find dozens of different dog breeders. You are better off to buy a puppy from a breeder, although it may not be as convenient as buying the animal from a pet store. The breeder will be an expert on this type of breed and may even breed other types of dogs. They will be able to give you tips on how to raise your puppy and get him or her to blend in with your family.
Another place to get a dog is from an individual who is moving or giving a dog away due to allergies. Many people do not realize that they are allergic to dog dander until they actually get the dog. You can sometimes find a good dog that may even be house broken, by looking in the paper.
Cats and other animals are just as easily found in pet stores and at humane shelters. Cats are usually plentiful as they have a shorter gestation period and generally have a larger litter than dogs. There are pure bred cats that some people like, such as ragdolls and Persian cats. These do not usually make good pets for children. You are better off to adopt a cat or a kitten from the pound before you get a purebred cat from a cat breeder.
You can also find cats that are “free to a good home” in the newspaper. The spring and summer seem to be “kitten season” and you can generally find a lot of free kittens offered to good homes in the paper.
When choosing between getting a kitten from an individual or from a shelter, consider the fact that the shelter is likely to charge a fee, but it will give the animal all of its shots and also spay or neuter the animal. If you check the price at the vet’s office, you will see that you can save quite a bit of money by getting the animal from the pound.
You can also find other pets such as guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, and rabbits at the animal shelter. Many small pet stores will sell birds, gerbils, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs and fish but not cats and dogs. You really have quite a variety of places to go if you want to get fish. You can save some money, however, when looking in the paper or online and finding an aquarium second hand.
When getting a pet for your kids, you should seriously consider adopting the pet from your local animal shelter. You will most likely find a pet that will be a loyal companion for the rest of its life, and one that will be in good health. If your children are older, you may consider adopting an older dog from the pound as it is more likely to be house broken and may even be trained not to jump on the furniture. Dogs end up in the pound for all sorts of reasons and are usually gentle. The shelter will not put dogs up for adoption that show aggressive tendencies towards humans.