So you’ve decided to add a new pet to your family. The first question to answer is what kind of pet will be the best fit for your household? Do you have enough time to devote to the daily needs of a dog? Is there someone in your household who is allergic to cats? Doing your homework in advance will make your search easier and increase the chances that your new pet will be a happy addition to the family.
Once you know what you are looking for, consider looking at local pet shelters and animal rescue organizations. Six to eight million pets end up in shelters each year of which half will never be adopted and are ultimately euthanized.
Dogs and cats fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. Twenty-five percent of pets in shelters are purebred. The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds have parents and other ancestors that are all from the same breed, and consequently, they generally conform to a specific “breed standard.”
Some people believe that purchasing a purebred is also buying a guarantee of health and temperament. This is simply not true. “Papers” from a purebred registry organization only certifies the pet’s lineage and identity. A “purebred” from a puppy mill can have all sorts of problems.
Because purebreds have a higher incidence of genetic disease, reputable breeders do extensive testing of the parents to minimize the changes of passing along a genetic defect. As a consequence, purebreds tend to be much more expensive than mixed breeds.
On the other hand, mixed breeds offer the advantage of two or more different breeds in the gene pool which lowers the risk for genetic defects. The term for this is “hybrid vigor.” Also, if the combination of breeds is known (or is determined through genetic testing) the size, appearance and temperament of most mixed breeds can be predicted.
Why adopt from a shelter or rescue group?
For starters, you are probably saving a life.
Most pets end up in a shelter through no fault of their own. “Moving” and “landlord issues” are the top reasons for people giving up their pets. Consequently, shelters are full of wonderful, family-ready pets.
Pets adopted from shelters typically have already been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed and micro-chipped, all extra costs for a new puppy from a breeder or a pet store.
Most shelters and rescue groups conduct a behavioral analysis of each pet to ensure that they will be the right fit for your family, dramatically improving the chances your new pet will fit right in.
Once you have found your new pet, remember, the Scottsdale Veterinarians at Horizon Animal Hospital are ready to assist you with all of your pet care needs.
This is part of our series on The Best Animal Videos on the Internet. Visit the link to see more great pet videos!