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1. Costs are ongoing

1. Costs are ongoing
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That guinea pig or rabbit may be inexpensive, but there are many other costs – some of them ongoing – to consider: you will need to buy a cage, grooming tools, food, a bed and toys, and you’ll be back every month to restock. Then there are annual vet fees for the duration of your pet’s life.

2. You're gonna need a bigger cage

2. You're gonna need a bigger cage
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Many cages and tanks in pet shops are overcrowded or smaller than is recommended, so don’t use them as a guide for the cage you buy. We justify small cages as the animals are small when we get them and don’t stay long.

3. Some pets come with hidden problems

3. Some pets come with hidden problems
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Don’t be surprised if the pet we sold you has parasites, a respiratory infection or a more serious disease. Animals often won’t show symptoms until you get them home. So make sure you get certificates or written proof that vet examinations and vaccinations have occurred before you buy and get your animal checked out by a vet right away.

4. Hands off at first

4. Hands off at first
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Don’t handle your small animal (guinea pig, bird, etc) for a few days after you get it home. Give it time to adjust to its new environment.

5. Quantity, not quality

5. Quantity, not quality
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Unless your dog or cat has allergies or a medical condition, it doesn’t need a premium, high-priced pet food. If you want to ensure your pet’s long-term health, focus more on how much you feed it (and keep it at a healthy weight) and less on the label.

6. We are trying to sell pets

6. We are trying to sell pets
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Our employees might tell you that this animal is the sweetest or the most playful, but keep in mind that most stores have sales goals. Take what the staff say with a grain of salt, and interact with the animal yourself.

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