Smart Money – sister publication of the Wall Street Journal – is continuing its series of the 10 things retailers won’t tell you, focusing this time on pet stores.
Number one, says the magazine is that pet food and treats are more expensive at pet stores.
Supermarkets, Target, Costco and other department stories as well as Amazon are frequently much cheaper.
Another biggie, is don’t buy that cute dog in the cage. It may have come from a pet mill.
“Pet-store purchasers do risk getting an unhealthy puppy from a bad breeding facility, says veterinary specialist Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of the Pet Poison Helpline. Pet store puppies can cost upwards of $1,000, but bad living conditions at puppy mills and too-early separation from their mothers often make puppies sick (see #4). Muddled breeding lines can bring out congenital defects, she says. A 2011 study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Best Friends Animal Society also found that puppy mill puppies often have longstanding psychological damage leading to fearful and compulsive behaviors.
“Instead of a pet store, consumers may want to look to either a reputable local breeder or an adoption group, says Melanie Kahn, senior director of the Humane Society’s puppy mills campaign. Petco, which does not sell dogs or cats, agrees that adoption should be the first option. “Petco always recommends that anyone looking to add a new pet to their family consider adopting a companion animal in need of a loving home — rather than purchasing one — even if it’s an animal we sell in our stores,” a spokeswoman says.”
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