Choosing a New Pet – What Are Your Options?

When you consider getting a pet, do you look first at the status your pet will bring to you, or do you look for a companion? Many people are guided by what they see in the movies. Dalmatians, Siamese, Siberian Huskies, Himalayans, Golden Retrievers, Russian Blues, Beagles, Persians, Chihuahuas and German Shepherds have all been “the pet to have” due to their appearance in popular screen films. So many of them were purchased as pets for the kids without any research at all, and have wound up in shelters or breed rescues, dumped there when they became too much trouble or grew too large.

What is it that makes a good choice of pet? You should consider the length of hair, how active they might be, their vocal tendencies, whether they have a homing instinct, if they shed a lot, if they have specific breed-related dietary or medical issues, and many other things. If you live in a hot climate, you shouldn’t choose a thick coated animal. If you live where it stays cold, don’t choose a pet with a short coat. Remember that your pet has to live where you live, and may not be suitable to the conditions of your home.

If status is a concern, there are breeders available across the nation to meet your needs. If a pure bred pet appeals to you, but papers are not important, you might try checking with your local animal shelters and breed rescues. An amazing number of pure breed dogs and cats wind up in shelters and rescues. Thousands of them are put down annually because they are not adopted.

If you are more interested in a companion animal, animal shelters are a smorgasbord of choices. Large or small, there are so many homeless pets waiting to be adopted. They come in a variety of colors and coat patterns, temperaments, ages, and sizes. A simple visit to your local shelter will often make up your mind for you.

Mixed breed pets tend to be heartier and healthier than many of the pure bred animals due to a lack of serious inbreeding. Shelter animals have been checked out by a vet, neutered/spayed, wormed, and have had a rabies shot before you can adopt them. This is a distinct advantage over home puppy offered “free to a good home”, but the vetting is up to you and your pocketbook.

Getting a puppy or kittens form a friend is often a good way to give a potential stray a good home. You will need to have the animal vetted, though. Be aware that your new friend might have been exposed to a wide variety of diseases and parasites, no matter how clean and well kept they have been. Have any new pet checked out to be safe, get their first round of shots, and make arrangement to have them fixed when they are old enough.

Whatever your choice, be sure that your pet is compatible with your lifestyle and home.

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