Going to a pet store to purchase a pet is something that should only be done with a great deal of research in advance.
Anyone looking to purchase a new pet should first ask himself or herself if it is really the right thing to do. A pet should not simply be purchased based on the way it looks. Yes, there are numerous great looking dogs, cats, hamsters or rabbits in a pet store, but purchasing one without knowing anything about it is a mistake.
Prospective owners need to know how large a pet grows after it reaches maturity, what accessories it needs, how much food costs, and more. Even a small hamster requires much more than a hamster cage, and even reptiles need more than vivariums in which to live.
After purchasing a pet, finding accessories and purchasing them from a regular pet shop or from an online pet shop is not a problem.
Arriving home with their pet is usually the moment when new pet owners realise if they have made a mistake or not. It is the first couple of days that are the most important time, as these are the days when a connection between pet and owner is formed.
The pet, regardless of its type, starts to understand that there is nothing to fear from the owner, and that he or she is also feeding and caring for it, while the owner starts to understand exactly what his or her new pet is like and what it likes doing.
This accommodation period, as it is called, can last much more than a couple of days though. Suspicious pets such as hamsters and rabbits will require much more time with their new owner to get to know him or her. This can take as long as six months, and this is a period in which there will be little to no contact between pet and owner, except for the regular feeding.
Dogs and cats have a much smaller accommodation period, and it is not unusual for cats to start bonding with their new owner after only a day. Dogs can do the same, but there will be a difficult period with puppies crying after their mother at night. New pet owners will sometimes feel scared, especially if they spot something wrong with their pet. Panic is the first reaction, but that should be avoided, as it does not help the owner or the pet.
A trip to the local vet is mandatory after getting the pet, and whenever a problem is spotted or suspected. Only the vet can tell for sure if the pet is actually ill, or simply sad and depressed. Pet owners who do not spend a lot of time with their new pet may discover exactly how much this hurts it, as depression sets in and causes the pet to become lethargic.
Pet owners may think that buying a lot of toys for their new pet is enough to keep it occupied and that it will not notice the large amount of time it spends alone. This is not true, and all pets will notice it, but each will react differently. Cats may be pleased to be left alone for long periods of time, as they will simply sleep or watch out the window, but dogs on the other hand will severely dislike being left all alone for longer periods of time, and will either start barking or will start breaking and chewing things in the house.
Toys purchased from an online pet shop may keep a pet happy for a short period of time, but what keeps it happy for long periods of time is constant interaction with its owner. A pet needs to play with its owner regularly, and feel cared for and loved. Even a small hamster, locked in its hamster cage will be happy to see its owner, not only because it knows it is feeding time, but also because he is hoping for a pat or to be left outside to wander a little. Reptiles in vivariums will likewise be happy to see their owner, but this is generally strictly because they know it is feeding time, and not because they are keen on too much interaction.