So, your family has settled on the perfect species and breed to fit your lifestyle, but now you’re at a loss where to find this furry addition. You’ve asked friends and family where they’ve found their pets, and you’ve received a variety of answers, with an impressive range in location and price. If polling your loved ones did not help narrow down the best place to find your new pet, check out the following list of the most common places for new furry family members. Pros and cons of each place are also highlighted, to aid you in your search.

#1: Pet stores

Pet stores used to be the go-to place for a new pet, whether you were looking for a puppy or kitten, or a more exotic pet, such as a lizard, rodent, or bird. However, animal shelters and reputable breeders have edged out pet stores in supplying puppies and kittens, and many local and chain pet stores have closed down. They are still a popular location for choosing a more unusual pet, as finding breeders or rescues for rodents, lizards, birds, and fish in your area can be challenging. Additionally, many pet owners want to meet their future pet in person and choose from the various personalities and appearances, rather than searching for a breeder in another part of the country who will ship you a pet sight unseen.

Pros: You can view and handle a wide range of exotic species at pet stores before making a decision, and you can purchase your pet’s necessary supplies at the same time.

Cons: Pet store employees may not always be the most knowledgeable about the pets under their care, particular exotic species, so animal husbandry and health may suffer. Pets sold in pet stores may also come from disreputable places, like puppy mills and backyard breeders, and you will have no contact with the breeder to ask questions or for advice.

#2: Breeders

The breeder group encompasses a great range of people, from those who invest in their pets, to those who are simply looking to make a quick buck. Always look for a reputable breeder who tests for genetic and orthopedic conditions, such as German shepherd breeders who test for hip dysplasia. A good breeder will also breed for temperament and health, enhancing desirable traits, while working to reduce breed-specific problems. 

Pros: Breeders love to discuss their chosen breed, and can serve as a great information source, while also serving as a lifelong counselor for your pet’s health, happiness, and well-being. They often provide health guarantees and will carefully screen potential adopters, to ensure their pets go to the perfect home. 

Cons: Anyone can call themselves a “breeder,” so careful research is necessary before purchasing a pet to ensure the breeder is reputable, with good reviews, transparent regarding their pets’ health, and an excellent communicator.

#3: Animal shelters

As the slogan “Adopt, don’t shop” gained momentum, many people have turned to animal shelters to find their new pet. Animal shelters are wonderful places, since you can often foster a pet before committing to a permanent decision, plus you may find the purebred pet you were seeking. In addition to the many options available at a shelter, when you adopt from them, you are helping battle the pet overpopulation problem.

Pros: You often know exactly what you’re getting at animal shelters, because many pets come with a history of their personality and a description of temperament testing, plus the majority of pets have reached their adult size and weight.

Cons: Sadly, many pets at animal shelters are there because of health or behavioral issues, and their management can require extensive time and money. However, a great number of pets end up at shelters through no fault of their own.

#4: Breed rescues

Breed rescues are the perfect place to find a specific breed, without going through the puppy stage. A combination between a breeder and a shelter, you may find pets who need patience, time, and dedication to become an ideal family pet, but you could be rewarded with the perfect companion. Many of these pets have been cast off through no fault of their own, other than growing too large, or requiring too much mental and physical activity. 

Pros: Breed rescues take pets from shelters, offering that spot to another animal in need, while providing breed-specific, experienced care. These organizations are a great resource for prospective pet owners, and can match you up with a pet who meets your requirements. 

Cons: Breed rescues can demand a hefty list of requirements before allowing a pet adoption. Also, no rescue group for your chosen breed may be nearby, and you may have to travel a fair amount. 

With so many options for finding your new pet, you may end up coming home with more than one. Before settling on a new addition, check out the humane organizations our team supports through volunteer work and financial donations to help serve the Kansas City and Shawnee areas. 

Have you recently adopted a new furry friend into your family? Contact us at Mill Creek Animal Hospital to schedule a wellness visit for your new pet.