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Pets for Sale?

What Retailers Need to Know Before Selling Pets



Many municipalities in the U.S. now ban the sales of pets for profit in pet stores, at flea markets and other outlets.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The decision to begin selling pets from your pet store is not one to be taken lightly. As you are dealing with living beings that require proper care, this is a huge responsibility.

Below are some crucial factors to consider before you decide to sell companion animals.

Bans on Selling Pets are Increasing

Many of us remember that cute, innocent little ditty, "How Much is That Doggy in the Window?" But there currently is a great deal of controversy regarding the sales of puppies, kittens and other types of live animals in pet stores.

Due to the often horrific conditions and treatment of pet shop animals, bans against this practice have actually been enacted in various towns and municipalities in this country and Canada in recent times.

For more info about this, and a full list of jurisdictions that ban pet sales in pet shops, please see my article No Pets for Sale.

There also are concerns about many of the pets being acquired from disreputable sources, such as puppy mills. So please think long and hard before dealing in live pets. If so, be sure to acquire pets from reputable sources.

Pet Stores that Sell Pets are Seen as 'Politically Incorrect'

Animal rights activists further argue that there are more than enough homeless pets available for adoption from shelters and rescue organizations. Indeed, in this dismal economy, many unfortunate people have been forced to surrender their pets to shelters, because they simply can’t afford to keep them.

That’s one reason why shops that sell pets that may be readily available at shelters may be avoided by those seeking to adopt pets. (Please see my blog post for my thoughts on this.)

Conversely, There’s Still a Market for Posh Pets

Of course, there are still lots of people who are in the market for "designer" critters, such as purebred dogs and cats, or funky-but-chic exotic pets like skunks.

If you do decide to sell pets, and there is a market for this in your area, start by researching.

In Defense of (Some, at Least) Stores that Sell Live Pets

Not all pet stores that sell live animals are greedy, irresponsible bastions of evil. I got my pet rabbit, Duke (who was a girl, by the way) from a five and dime store! For $1.99! She was a beautiful, healthy animal who lived to be 10.

So this really is a case-by-case scenario.

That said, here are some other factors to consider before selling pets:

  • Become thoroughly familiarized with the proper care of any pet you wish to sell.
  • Provide spotlessly clean living quarters for the pets; remove old food and feces regularly.
  • Have the right amount of cage or other confinement space for the pets.
  • Make sure that the pets are healthy, are up to date on their shots and are spayed or neutered at the appropriate age.
  • Make sure that they have the proper amount of food and water at all times.
  • Take them out for exercise and play with them periodically.

Whatever you do, make sure that you are able to provide the right loving care before you even consider this very complicated undertaking.

Otherwise, if you decide to refrain from selling pets and want to know how to make this economically feasible, please see my article "Success, Without the Sale of Pets".

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