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If you are thinking of buying a new pet then you’ll first have to know the best places to find the pet you’re looking for. In every town and city across the UK, and in some larger villages too, you will find a pet shop, whether it’s an independent store or part of a large chain of stores such as Pets at Home. Here you will be able to buy smaller pets such as rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, goldfish, mice, rats, budgies, canaries, guinea pigs, chinchillas, snakes, turtles, and stick insects.
In certain pet shops, particularly specialist shops, you will be able buy pet reptiles including iguanas, lizards, and snakes, whilst garden centres and aquariums may sell terrapins, stick insects and tropical fish. Whether you buy from a pet store, specialist store or an aquarium check that the place is spotlessly clean and tidy as that shows they are professionals who know how to care for animals.
For larger pet animals, such as cats and dogs, you should contact a breeder or a rescue home. If you want to buy from a breeder then take the time to find a reputable one with many years experience. Rescue homes and animal charities are a great place to get a pet, especially for first time pet owners because you can get expert advice from the staff there and your pet may already be house trained. In addition it gives a formerly neglected pet the chance of finding a caring and loving home, which is something they all deserve. Alternatively you could buy a pet from a friend or neighbour so you will know exactly where the pet is coming from. However, before you head out and buy your new pet you must take a few things into consideration. First of all find out how long your chosen species is likely to live because you must be willing to care for it for the rest of its life. Some animals, such as hamster may only live for a year, but an iguana can live for 20 years and you must be prepared for that.
You will also have to think about the extra costs of having a pet, both financially and time-wise. Dogs need to be taken for a walk two or three times a day so ask yourself whether you really have the time for a dog, while a rabbit will require a hutch and fish need a tank, so make sure you budget for these extra costs. It is also worth considering who will look after your pet when you go on holiday. Do you have a reliable neighbour or relative who can care for it or will you need to find a reputable cattery or boarding kennel for your pet?
Finally, you need to consider pet insurance because veterinary costs can be quite substantial and certain pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, need the company of their own species so you may want to get two.