Whether you’re seeking an enthusiastic puppy, a cuddly kitty or an adorable bunny, there are several great places to shop for your pet. Some offer pure bred animals, while others specialize in lovable mutts. Here are the ins and outs of each source so you’ll be satisfied with the search for your new best friend.
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If you’re sure of the breed you want, you can find breeders in the newspaper, online and by word of mouth. Usually, these breeders aren’t in business to make money, they’re all about promoting the breed they adore. Look for a breeder who obviously loves his animals, keeps them in clean, well-tended pens and adheres to local laws regarding pet ownership. Avoid breeders with more animals than they can possibly tend to or with dirty pens lacking in sufficient shelter, food and water for the animals.
2. Pet Stores
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Pet stores usually offer a good variety of pure bred pets, and it’s a good place to find more unusual pets, including guinea pigs, rabbits, lizards and even monkeys. Use care, however, because many chain pet stores have fallen under fire for selling animals from puppy mills. Research the store’s reputation with animal rights groups if you have concerns.
3. Online Pet Shops
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It can be hard to find the pet you’re looking for locally. Fortunately, there are online pet shops where you can browse the available animals at your leisure. It’s a great way to get ideas for different types of pets. The downside is, you can’t go home with your new love today. An online pet store is also an excellent place to buy the food and supplies you’ll need for your new friend.
4. Animal Shelters
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If you’re not interested in a pure bred animal, shelters are the ideal place to find animals of all ages. Shelters often have bunnies, guinea pigs and other animals to offer. Some groups specialize in rescuing specific breeds, and this is a great way to get a pure bred pet while providing a needed home for an abused or neglected animal.
5. Classified Ads
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Online and print classified ads abound with pets of all sorts at all price ranges. Here, you can find everything from free kittens and puppies to fully stocked saltwater aquariums. Use caution when shopping online and make sure the pets they’re offering are legal for them to sell and for you to own. Illegal sales of exotic animals are, unfortunately, common in these ads.
6. Ask Around
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Vets’ offices, friends and family members often know of someone who has puppies, kittens, bunnies, lizards and other pets for free or very cheap. Look for fliers at the vet’s office, the library, local convenience stores and churches where bulletin boards allow people to advertise their wares. As with classified ads, make sure you’re comfortable with the seller before agreeing to take the animal.
7. Adopt a Virtual Pet
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If you have allergies, your landlord doesn’t allow pets or you simply can’t take on the responsibility right now, consider adopting a virtual pet. These pets include the ordinary dogs and cats, but you can also get horses, monkeys, turtles, snakes, fish and much more. You care for your pet and play with it online anytime you like.
People who have pets are happier, healthier and live longer than those who don’t. There’s a benefit to having a non-human best friend, no matter where he comes from.