Usually, Pet Shops are the first stop for most pet seekers. Pet shops will be the first destination above all other alternatives and it is also where most impulsive buyers get cheated as well. Generally, pet shops paint quite a bad impression for those that have gone through bad experiences.
In my opinion, the main problem with pet shops is that people working in these places does not have passion for the animals. I strongly believe that knowledge is very important when dealing with anything. When one does not have the passion for the animals, most likely they will not be bothered to care or at least learn the proper way of handling them. Pet shops after all are just businesses and money normally comes first. With money being the emphasis, most will cut back on good(costly) diet to name a few issues that I have came to know.
But inevitably, pet shops are still the most common place where people acquire their pets because reputable breeders do not normally get expose to the market compared to these pet shops. I normally recommend my friends to seek out breeders instead of getting their pets from pet shops. And if one does enough research, they will be able to get in touch with one.
Why breeders and not pet shops? Here are some points:
Pet shops are where animals from everywhere converges and diseases from any of these sources may spread to the entire batch of animals in the shop at that moment of time thus, buyers may end up paying extra for vet fees and worst still, having their pets die on them after building a bond in that short period of time. Many pet shops do offer to take back these sick animals but how many of us kind soul would agree to that?
Pet shops normally earn at least 100% for the livestocks. For example, a common rabbit may be taken in at as low as $10 per head and sold for $45. Paying the $45 to the breeder directly will at least help him/her to improve on the quality of his/her herd.
3) Passed on knowledge
The main objective of pet shops is to close a sale. Money is the emphasis here. Therefore, most pet shop attendants are ill-informed or have zero knowledge to pass on to their customers. The customers end up raising their pet wrongly and as how they have been told by these ill-informed attendants.
I have learned that blogging blankly and not giving suggestions to correct problems highlighted affects my credibility therefore here are some suggestions:
1) Do not sell livestock
Pet shops can opt to just provide pet services – grooming, boarding and sale of pet products. Pet shops can also act as a mediator to recommend good and responsible breeders to buyers seeking for certain pets.
2) Educate employees
The management should spend more resources in educating staff with proper knowledge when dealing with livestocks. But this will go a long way. Customers will always come back if they are given accurate information. It is very important to disseminate and impart good knowledge when being the front liners and interacting with customer most of the time. This way, customer will have more confident in your services and satisfaction is almost guaranteed. With good knowledge, the animals are treated properly and that itself will help the shops to have healthy pets to offer.
To be frank, if I am able to find a pet shop that can convince me that my rabbits will be well taken care of, as a breeder I may consider supplying my rabbits to them. BUT, at this point of time, none has shown the least credibility to impress me to do so. Furthermore, because my rabbits are precious to me, I make it a point to know their progress and thus, I must know the new owners personally. Therefore, the only time I associate with pet shops is when I need supply for my rabbits because as far as non-livestock products are concerned, they are still able satisfy my rabbits’ needs. I will also recommended shop for others to get their supplies but never their livestocks.
My hope for the local pet industry is that we not only have ethical, responsible and caring breeders but also, flawless pet shops. That way, we can all benefit from sharing all these wonderful animals with wonderful people getting them. In the long run, we will have ample of good things to go around for our future generations.
Only time will tell…