I hate PetSmart – but have gone in there many times to get items that are out of stock elsewhere when I need them quickly. I hate PetSmart because I always want to ‘rescue’ all the small animals.
It might be different if they changed how they did things.
- REALLY insist that people don’t just buy ONE guineapig, rat, hamster etc when they are already in the display case with their siblings. They should educate people on how important it is that they have a cage mate, and that lonely critters can become very unhappy and frightened critters that won’t socialize with the child who’s aiming to take it home. This is a big reason why these sorts of pets get dumped off later with pet rescues. Child decides the animal isn’t fun, and doesn’t take care of it and so then it’s a smelly cage and the parents do the whole ‘if you don’t take care of it, we are getting rid of it’. And off it goes
- Give proper care information. Don’t assume the customer knows what they are doing. Ask them if they have an adequate sized cage. A pair of guinea pigs, or even a single should have a 2×4 cage. The MidWest ones are pretty cheap on Amazon. PetSmart’s guinea pig starter cages are pathetically small. If it’s a pair of rats, they should have at least 4 cubic feet of space. A quick search online will give some amazing rat cage suggestions. Critter Nation is a favourite of ours. And rabbits? Well I’ve not seen rabbits at PetSmart here, but the cages they sell for them are horrible. Even if they were going to spend very little time in it. An xtra large dog crate works well, with an adjustable fencing option round the opening for extended play area if you aren’t able to have them running loose at the moment.
- I think what bothered me the the most last time I was there – and what caused me to buy the two skinny pigs that had been there in their little glass enclosure for a month – is that skinny pigs are messy. They pee and poop way more than their furry counterparts. This is because they have a very fast metabolism – trying to stay warm all the time since they are completely naked, poor little things. Fleece bedding is best because they have very soft skin that can scratch easily – even just by chewing the stiffer Timothy hay. They get cold. They drink LOTS of water – all in all, skinnies are NOT a pet for a child to be caregiver to. These dear little creatures need special care and the fact that they just get sent off with anyone drives me nuts.
I know that by buying our little skinnies that they were simply replaced right away with new ones – and now I just refuse to go in there anymore, because seeing the poor animals in there just breaks my heart.
Well… that’s my rant for the day.