Years ago every town, big and small, had a pet store. It was owned by a neighbor most probably and its main purpose was to actually sell pets. Dogs, cats, birds, gold fish and hamsters usually. These pet stores were known for honesty and taking care of the pets for sale. Customers would come in if for no other reason than to chat with the owners, play with the puppies and maybe pick up some dog food.

Today, pet stores have changed dramatically. Most are owned by large national chains and provide few pets other than lizards, birds, fish and the occasional seasonal bunny rabbit. A few have teamed with various rescue organizations and local humane shelters and have regular adoption days for cats and sometimes for dogs as well.

There are, however, some pet stores that specialize in selling puppies – although a far cry from what we found decades ago. These are usually what are referred to as puppy mills – retailers that breed dogs to death in order to make money. Puppies are sick, not cared for, and are provided with minimal food and water in the hopes they survive long enough to be sold. Most of these stores are fined heavily after a few consumer complaints and are eventually put out of business.

Modern pet stores tend to be large and even welcome pets! Bring Fido on a leash and he can hang out with others who have come in with their owners for the weekly supplies and maybe a new doggie bone or chew stick.

Some chains have teamed up with veterinary hospitals so that it’s truly one stop shopping. Bring in your dog or cat (or iguana!) and while you pick up some food and maybe a few new toys, you can also stop by the vet’s office for annual checkups, rabies shots, or other issues that tend to surface.

These stores are managed and staffed by animal experts. One chain demands that all staff members have at least a certificate in animal sciences. This type of knowledge is wonderful when it comes time to needing help with a new food or even to get some basic questions answered on house breaking, what type of leash to buy, how to clip nails, or even how to stop a cat from spraying. Their knowledge and information comes in handy for new and experienced pet owners who otherwise might have no other option but to schedule a vet visit just to get some simple answers.

Most stores have learned that they need to carry what is considered “supermarket brands” of pet food along with the higher end specialty brands. In a bad economy pet owners have to find a way to cut back, too, and this usually means buying cheaper pet food. When this started to happen pet stores felt the pressure to provide additional lower cost items for their customers.

Make sure you sign up for a customer reward card wherever you shop! You’ll have access to great coupons and private sales.

About the Author:
Having pets and animals are wonderful for adding enjoyment to our lives, so be sure to visit pet supplies Brampton to be ready to meet their needs. Puppies, kittens, birds and more can be found at puppies Mississauga or at pet stores Brampton.