If and when you are considering adopting or buying a new pet, the first thing to do is consider yourself and your lifestyle. Never impulse buy a pet. Animal shelters worldwide are full of wonderful pets whose owners obtained them only to later realize they could not sufficiently care for them.
Not all pets are created equal. Some pets are more self-sufficient than others — certain pets such as puppies require near constant attention, others such as tortoises can go days (even weeks) without food and water, so you have a lot to think about before you bring home a pet, but a good first step is to ask yourself the following questions to determine if you're ready and equipped to be a responsible pet owner?
If you have determined you want a puppy, you can search in shelters, within breed-specific rescue groups, at private breeders or you can shop a pet store.The Internet is full of stories about why you should not buy puppies from pet stores, but many of those articles are written by people or groups whose agenda is to shut down each and every pet store in this state and/or country.
"That agenda is most often a misguided attempt to eliminate puppy mills by banning pet stores from purchasing puppies from commercial breeders. We agree that puppy mills are despicable, they put a blemish on an industry that brings so much joy to people and they should all be closed permanently and their owners held accountable," says Frank Mineo, owner and CEO of Puppies 'N Love and Animal Kingdom pet stores.
"If we did not have a long history of providing happy and healthy puppies to loving and caring homes, we would have shut down a long time ago on our own and without the help of our detractors," he says.
The most responsible thing for any future or current pet owner to do before purchasing a new puppy (or any other pet) is homework, ask questions and be prepared. You are in for what can and should be one of the most rewarding, unconditional and selflessly loving relationships of your life.