People spend a lot of time researching their car purchase or their flat screen purchase. When what they want is a pet though, they look up the name of a breed they find attractive and go pick one up at the pet shops. That’s not really fair. People who get into buying a pet without putting in a great deal for research into what they are doing can often let themselves in for a great deal of emotional pain and untold expenses. How, you ask? Pet shops are often known to breed their stocks very carelessly. Carelessly-bred pets commonly end up with cardiac problems, hip dysplasia, cancer – serious diseases. There are no a regulators who actually look closely at the kinds of breeding stock pet breeders use. They will frequently go and use animals to breed from that already have all the serious conditions. So what are you supposed to do?
You should probably head over to the Canine Health Information Center’s website. They list the kinds of disorders each breed of pet is known to fall victim to. All pet shops need to provide you with testing certificates that prove that the pets they are selling you do not have to the diseases those breeds are known to have. Better still, make sure that you go only to pet shops that exclusively work with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals – a nonprofit that shows breeders how to lower the occurrence of genetic diseases in the pets they sell.
In buying a pet, you never realize how much one can end up costing you in ownership costs. Certainly, you can read up on what it can cost you over the first year. Generally, it costs about $2000 a year for a large dog and about half that for a cat. That’s what the ASPCA says. In a time when people are surviving on inadequate healthcare for their families, is it really justifiable spending the thousands of dollars every year it can take to keep pets healthy after the first year? All it takes is a surprise illness, and you can consider yourself in deep, deep financial trouble. They don’t really tell you this, at the pet shops, when you go in to buy a pet. Veterinary hospitals and clinics have added all kinds of terribly expensive procedures to offer your pets. What about pet insurance, you ask?
There are about 1 million households in the US that have their pets’ health needs insured for. That is no real cause for any peace of mind though – any more than just buying any kind of health insurance would reassure you that your family was completely covered. Take your pet in to an animal care center, and you’re likely to give your pet a disease of some kind before his stay is through. Shelling out hundreds of dollars for obedience lessons for your dog? There are almost no pet trainers that are accredited by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. But they are still happy to charge you a full fee. And the same goes for pet walking and pet sitting services. Some are accredited by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, and some aren’t.
Pet shops should really educate their clients before they actually sell them what might turn out to be a lifelong problem.