Updated: Feb 6
Hear me out, I understand everyone wants a pet. Whether this is a cute cuddly cat, ‘man’s best friend’ the dog or even the other amazing creatures such as lizards, snakes and fish but the simple fact you are taking care of these animals does not mean that you are helping their species or existence, as a whole. Many animals have genetic problems that affect them throughout their life. Additionally, many animals are bred in horrendous and dangerous condition that can lead to their death. Further to this, there is an extremely high number of homeless animals that are looking for a home. Having said all this if you are getting a pet I would like to think this is because you have a great love for animal and want to introduce one into your home and to join your family. I decided to write this post to raise awareness of what you are contributing too when you go and buy a brand new pet from a breeder and why you should seek to obtain a rescue pet first. Here is what you should look into before purchasing any pet.
Ask where it is from:
You would be surprise to know that when you are buying pets you may be contributing to the capture of wild animals. I am sure I do not need to tell you why this is wrong, as I would like to think you agree that wild animals should remain, wild. Now, this can affect all types of pets but is mainly a problem with marine life, reptiles and the more exotic species. So find out where the animal comes from and ask can you see its mother and father, is it captive bred, do you know the family tree and other similar questions. Further to this, a growing horrible trend is stolen pets and then reselling them. Essentially, if you think something is wrong don’t buy the pet and report them to the appropriate authorities to stop them potentially stealing or harming more animals. Additionally, look at the impact on other humans, especially in Less Economically Developed Country (LEDC). Many animals such as exotic fish that are captured in the wild put these peoples lives at risk for small amounts of money and by purchasing them you are contributing to this.
Are you being lied to:
Always be careful of what the breeder tells you, as they often have the goal to make money and will lie to get it. This can be considering everything the breeder has told you about the age, breed, parents, history and importantly its insurances. Additionally, look at state of the animal and even advice on its care, which can all be wrong. Think about what the breeder is saying and assess it for yourself. Your instinct is often correct and you should research to find out what is correct to ensure the best life for the animal.
Can you get your chosen pet from a better place:
Lastly, in regards to getting your pet ask yourself if you can get it from a better place. I understand that you may have you heart set on a particular pet. However, before you rush and buy this pet search for the best place to get it from. Often, this should be choosing to get a rescue pet, as there are plenty that need a home.
Can you take care of it?:
I have heard far too many stories about people who have got a pet and didn’t understand the real ramification of owning one. This often ends in two ways it has either led to the pet being in a poor state of health despite the love the owner has for it or it is given up after its ‘cute’ phase. So before you get any pet do your research and consider:
Financially – Can you pay for your pet. This should take into account, the initial cost (House/ bedding food, all essential for the animal), the healthcare/insurances (If the animal has an accident can you give it, its best chance?), can you pay for its enrichment (the initial toys don’t last forever and animals can get bored and stressed).
Time – can you give it the time it
Space – Even if you believe you can do the
Mechanical care – This is similar to the financial aspect. Mechanical equipment can fail and this often leads to animals dying or
Should it be?
There are a number of animals that may look cute and have a large fan base online. However, suffer from some incredibly poor genetic problems. Look for information online about the animal you want to get and see if they have a number of problems, just because of the type of breed they are. Try not to support the breeding of these animals, as many suffer through their life and die because of these problems.
I thought I would highlight the number of homeless animals there are in the UK alone and why you should aim to give one of these a home:
The number of wild, feral or homeless cats in the UK often differs but is usually agreed to be easily over a million. I have even seen sites that have stated there are nine million stray cats, which is crazy and not right at all. Instead of paying for a new kitten, rescue one of these.
Number of homeless dogs is said to be about 50,000 but the dog trust also claim to get about 50,000 phone calls a year from people who are trying to give up their dog. Please do not buy a dog if you are not willing to understand the full requirements of it and to give it up in such a short time.
This is just arguably the two most common pets in the UK and only figures from the UK; this is not taking into account the even greater numbers of homeless pets outside the UK. Additionally, I can guarantee you there are a lot of other animals that are released into the wild or even ‘destroyed’ in very unfortunate events. Please take this into account when considering taking on a new ‘friend’ into your home.
Please think before you buy a pet. There are already so many animals that need a loving home that you could provide. Additionally, there are many things to consider before you buy a new pet. You need to fully understand what it will mean in regards to taking care of it. Before you get any pet make sure you have the time that the animal needs, get the knowledge to take care of your pet and the money for all its needs. Doing all this will ensure that not only will this improve the animal’s life but also your interaction and benefits you get from it. Finally, before you do take the leap, think about the affects you might be having on the species, as a whole or the place that your pet comes from. Avoid puppy farms and other breeders that keep their pet in terrible conditions or mass breed them. When you do buy a pet, remember it is not just that animal you are affecting.