Whether you want to buy a fish, bird, hamster, or lizard, you really want to deal with a reputable pet store. The best pet stores share several characteristics, listed below. Refer to this list when comparing available pet stores so you can easily separate the best from the rest. Shopping at one of these establishments will start being a pet owner out on the right foot.
Tip 1: The store should be local, not a branch of a pet store chain or the pet department in a department or discount store. Local stores usually carry higher quality pet care products and have healthier animals. They consider which animals are popular with the local population and workers are more likely to provide knowledgeable, personalized service. In addition, large chains tend to carry cheap imitation pet care products under their own brands.
Tip 2: The store should look clean, be well-lit, feature wide aisles, and be neatly organized. Animal cages should be lit appropriately and look clean. You should see evidence that cleaning takes place regularly, such as cleaning supplies in the back of the store.
Tip 3: When you enter the store, an employee should greet you and ask if you need assistance or have questions. If all workers are helping other customers, one should acknowledge that he or she will be with you shortly.
Tip 4: Most of the animals should appear healthy. If the store carries fish and there are many dead fish in multiple fish tanks, be wary. Most stores only have a few fish die each day and they should be removed promptly.
Tip 5: Employees should answer questions honestly and directly, rather than misleading you just to make a sale.
Tip 6: If you are purchasing fish, a good pet store will not carry dye injected or painted fish. Employees will not recommend purchasing a tank or bowl under ten gallons. They will also not recommend an algae eater or catfish to clean a tank because they know that these creatures usually increase waste and tank maintenance.
Tip 7: Employees of a good pet store will encourage customers to read books about how to care for pets. They will also recommend a veterinarian consultation for a sick pet. They will not try to diagnose the illness themselves.
Tip 8: Good pet stores do not carry cats or dogs because most of these would come from puppy mills. Employees will advise customers to visit a local animal shelter or Humane Society to adopt these pets. If the customer has a specific breed in mind or wants a kitten or puppy, the employee will recommend contacting a local breeder.
Tip 9: Only a shop that specializes in reptiles should carry these pets. Amphibians and reptiles are typically negatively affected by the loud, active environment of a regular pet store.
Tip 10: Only a shop specializing in birds should carry large birds. Specialized equipment and a lot of space are required to keep large birds in good health.