Animal toys at a pet store (Geerte Verduijn/Dreamstime.com)
By Zoe Papadakis
There are some things your local pet store just doesn’t want you to know. Like the fact that, although you forked out just a few dollars to buy a hamster, you will be spending a lot more on accessories. Or that the vet contracted to work with the store may not be the best choice.
As a pet owner, there are things you do need to know, but are probably not being told. Reader’s Digest recently looked at some of the secrets that pet stores tend to hide. Here are nine of them:
1)The food label is not that important. Many top brands justify their high prices by promising quality food that will ensure your pet’s optimal health. However, unless your cat or dog has a specific health condition, they probably don’t need the more expensive, premium brand.
Also See: 9 Things Your Hamster Wish You Knew
2) Puppies come from mills. There is a big chance that the puppies being sold at a store have come from a puppy mill. Data shows that roughly half of the two million puppies that have been bred in mills wind up being sold in pet stores.
3) Animals escape. When it comes to handling animals, the chances of having one escape are high. One pet store employee recalled to Reader’s Digest how a juvenile ball python once escaped and was caught five hours later.
4) Take your new pet to the vet. It is not uncommon for animals sold at pet stores to pick up parasites and more serious illnesses and diseases. However, the symptoms only show days later, so it is a good idea to take your new pet to the vet for a check-up.
5) The store has a sales target to meet. You may be stuck trying to decide on which puppy or kitten to take home when a friendly sales assistant offers to help. They may tell you just how sweet-natured your potential new pet is, but you need to take what they are saying with a dose of skepticism. Pet stores have weekly or monthly sales targets to meet and they need to move stock, including animals.
6) Pet stores may work with unethical dealers. Many pet stores are supplied with animals from large-scale dealers known for their unethical practices. They may house animals in inhumane conditions that could even result in death.
7) Avoid fish bowls. Pet stores may sell fish bowls, but that doesn’t mean you should buy one. Fish need a bigger tank to thrive. That includes goldfish, which need at least a 2-gallon aquarium with a filter.
8) Your dog doesn’t need to be bathed that often. While pet stores want you to buy their bath products, what they aren’t telling you is that your dog probably doesn’t need that many baths — unless they are smelly or covered in mud or dirt.
9) Pet stores sell products they don’t support. A pet store may be selling products that its own staff doesn’t even approve of. Things like choke collars, muzzles, and even certain foods can make them cringe, but they would never tell you that.
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