The decision is certain: not dog or cat, but small animals should enrich your family in the future. A species-appropriate cage and the right small animal accessories have long been found – only the right residents are still missing. But where should you look for small animals? At the breeder, at the pet shop or at the shelter?
If you adopt animals from the shelter, you will undoubtedly be doing something good. In addition, the keepers know their protégés and can give you comprehensive advice. In pet shops, the animals have comparatively little contact with humans and are therefore rather shy. It is also often hard to understand where the animals originally came from and the staff is often not trained. If you still decide on a pet shop, you should therefore insist on transparency and competent advice.
For breeders, it is important to distinguish serious breeders of unscrupulous propagators. With a small animal purchase at the breeder, you should only support the breeding of healthy animals. But how do you recognize a healthy animal?
A health check is indispensable when buying a small animal
No matter where you buy animals – always pay attention to the seriousness of the seller and make a health check on every animal you want to bring to your home. Whether hamster, dwarf rabbit, guinea pig or rat does not matter. Of course, your health check can not replace a vet visit, many signs of illness or a poor general condition can also recognize pet owners.
5 important factors in buying small animals
1. The accommodation of the animals is clean and appropriate to the species
If the animals are penned in a disproportionately small mini-enclosure, the health check is already unnecessary. These animals live in conditions that are contrary to animal welfare. If hygiene is still lacking, parasites and diseases are inevitable. Do not support this attitude by buying the animals. Hard as it may be – leave the animals there. Every supposedly rescued animal is a paid animal and thus a success for the seller.
2. Males and females are kept separate
Most small animals become sexually mature very early. Once the male animals are capable of reproduction, they must be kept separate from the females. If uncastrated animals live in mixed groups, it is not a controlled breed. Instead, the small animals here are unscrupulously propagated – at the expense of their health. In such circumstances hereditary diseases can not be excluded and inbreeding can not be avoided.
3. The animals have fresh food and water at their disposal
Small animals have a fast metabolism and therefore have to eat several times a day. The bowl must therefore always be filled. Some species of animals, such as guinea pigs and rabbits, also need fresh hay. Of course you can change the diet of your animals after the purchase slowly. Nevertheless, make sure that the seller nourishes his animals properly.
4. The seller takes time for you and your questions
An animal purchase should never be spontaneous. Nevertheless, some questions remain open until the purchase or spontaneously come to mind for the future pet owner. Whether shelter, breeder or pet shop – there must be time for these questions. After all, it’s about living things, not a new TV.
5. The seller shows interest in the future of his animals
The salesman asks you questions about the housing of the animals and their ideas of welfare. He is keen that his charges find a good home and do not try to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
If you are unsure: Sleep better on the decision and do not buy the animals immediately. Maybe compare the husbandry conditions with another breeder, shelter, or other pet store. Listen to your gut feeling. A bad feeling may not always be justified, but it does not hurt to look around.