OK, so you’ve decided on getting a pet and we’ve talked about the preparations to be made beforehand (refresher). Great, wonderful, FANTASTIC!
At this point you have a two options – buy or adopt.
I’m going to be very honest – I think adoption is the only way to go. First of all (and this is the hippy dippy side) I don’t believe living beings should be bought and sold be it dog cat or cow. Second, Every year hundreds of dogs and cats from all types, ages and sizes get deserted for all reasons under the sun. Some may say that they want a specific breed of dog/cat but with a little effort you can definitely find what you’re looking for. In Italy for example there are dog pounds filled with gorgeous pure-bread hunting dogs that didn’t make the cut for their owners and were cast
aside. Dogs that can usually cost up to 500 euros or more just sitting and waiting for someone to get them. For FREE. So put in a little work and search the internet – most animal shelters have photos of their animals for adoption, there are also adoption days and people who just want to get rid of a litter they got stuck with because they didn’t spay their female (that’s how we found our amazing Sammy) or even people that can’t keep their pet for numerous reasons and would like to find it a new home. The fate of these dogs if not claimed can go from life in a shelter as the best option to euthanasia as the worst, depending on country/organizational policies.
If you do decide to buy make sure you check who you’re buying from. I think it’s preferable to buy from private individuals who maybe decided to breed their pet once or twice. In these cases the female doesn’t have to go through multiple pregnancies like in puppy mills and chances are that if the female is a family pet she was well treated during her life and pregnancy and that the offspring will be relatively healthy and well looked after until it’s time to leave, this doesn’t mean breeders don’t take care of their animals though, seeing as this is their source of income both mother and offspring have to be maintained in good condition. If you do have a specific breeder in mind you should go and visit the facility in order to make sure everything is above board. You really don’t have to be an expert in order to see if the animals are living in the proper conditions, because besides being important from a conscientious point of view, if they aren’t being treated well during pregnancy or early days your future pet could have serious health conditions later on. Same thing if you’re buying from a shop – ask them where they get their animals and then research the breeder online or ask around.
So good-luck with finding your pet! As always I hope this was helpful and I’d love to hear some thoughts about this since it’s always a subjects that raises some discussion.
Next time we’ll talk about developmental stages in dogs and cats which was a very interesting subject to study about.