Pets become an important part of the family, so how they're brought into your world matters when it comes to the care and support systems you put in place for them.
Whether you adopt or shop, you love your fur baby and want to give them the best life you can. But there are pros and cons to both adopting or shopping for a pet when it comes to quality of life and health that (potential) owners need to be aware of.
We spoke to animal behaviourist Chinelle Boshoff from Scars to discuss both the advantages and downsides that come with adopting or shopping, respectively.
You are a literal hero! Pet adoption means you're saving a life and giving them a chance at a happy, loving home. You might also have fewer chronic health issues to deal with. Boshoff says, '[Adopted pets] are often, unlike pure breeds, less likely to have genetic problems.'
Adoption fees from reputable shelters include vaccinations, microchipping, sterilisation and deworming of your four-legged friend. This will cost you anything from R500 to R1,500.
A con to consider is the "odd behavioural problems which may come with adopting". These behavioural problems could be the result of trauma, stress or separation anxiety.
Adopting an elderly pet can lead to more risks to life span and health, but this depends on the dog or cat and care received from the new owner.
Advice to consider
If you do fall in love with an elderly grump, there are medical aids out there that you can use which could give you full cover. You just have to find the right Pet Medical Aid for you.
If you're looking for a particular breed to be in your family photographs – maybe you have allergies or have a nostalgic bond with a pet from your childhood – you can make a better-informed judgement on your new pet's potential characteristics based on what's typically displayed by that breed.
'When it comes to unethical backyard breeders, you could run the risk of buying an inbred pup,' Boshoff says. 'There are also genetic conditions often found in pure breeds,' Boshoff warns. This could impact your number of visits to the vet, as well as the pet insurance you can qualify for.
Advice to consider
Home checks, vaccinations and the option of sterilisations are all signs that you're working with a reputable breeder. As Boshoff points out, 'a good breeder will care very much where their pets go so that the risk of landing up in a shelter is [lower].'
Whether you plan to adopt or shop, or you've already done either, it's important to make sure you're covered for any possible complications that may arise during your pet's precious life. Find the best Pet Medical Aid to suit your fur child's needs as well as your bank account. All family members deserve cover!
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.