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Buying A Pet Vs Owning A Pet - A Comprehensive Guide!

Buying a Pet

Choosing to bring a pet into your home is a significant decision that comes with various responsibilities and considerations. In the United Kingdom, individuals have the option to either buy a pet from breeders or adopt one from a shelter. 

This blog explores the guidelines for pet transport service, and the pros and cons of both buying a pet and owning a pet to help prospective pet owners make an informed decision that aligns with their lifestyle, preferences, and ethical considerations. Let’s discuss it in detail.

Buying a Pet

Engaging in the trade of unlawfully imported cats and dogs poses significant risks to the UK's animals and the public. Some of these animals, offered for sale within the country, have entered illegally from foreign sources, jeopardising their well-being and that of potential owners.

Illegally imported dogs and cats may exhibit the following issues:

  • Carry severe diseases that can potentially spread to other pets or humans.

  • Be too young for proper importation.

  • Endure transportation in substandard conditions.

  • They face increased behavioural and welfare problems and risks due to inadequate breeding and rehoming practices.

  • Lack of essential health preparations for a safe import.

  • Be promoted misleadingly regarding their history, breed, or pedigree.

  • Acquiring a pet through illegal channels could result in unexpected financial burdens, including costly quarantine and veterinary bills.

To counter the illicit trade in pet animals, adhere to the following guidelines when considering the purchase of a cat or dog:

  • Explore the option of adopting a rescue animal from a reputable UK rehoming organisation, verifying its membership in the Association of Dogs and Cat Homes.

  • Purchase your pet from a trustworthy source, such as a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, with guidance available from organisations like Dogs Trust, Kennel Club, PAAG, and RSPCA.

  • Inspect the animal and its documentation prior to purchase, ensuring it possesses either a pet passport or a veterinary certificate if born outside the UK.

  • Request to review the local authority licence details for commercial dog breeders.

  • Confirm that licensed dog breeders present puppies with their mothers to potential buyers.

  • Consult with your veterinarian if you harbour any doubts about the legitimacy and well-being of the animal.

For those planning to buy a puppy or kitten, additional precautions include:

  • Utilise the puppy contract or kitten checklist.

  • Refer to information provided by the RSPCA and Animal Welfare Foundation.

  • Never purchase a puppy or kitten younger than eight weeks old.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Pet 

When it comes to acquiring a pet in the UK, many people opt to buy from breeders. This allows individuals to choose a specific breed, colour, and age, catering to personal preferences and lifestyle requirements. Here are some advantages and drawbacks of buying a pet:

Advantages of Buying

Breed Preferences: One of the primary advantages of buying a pet is the ability to choose a specific breed. Whether it's a Labrador Retriever, a Persian cat, or a particular hybrid, buyers can select a pet that matches their preferences in terms of size, temperament, and appearance.

Health History: Reputable breeders often provide a comprehensive health history of the pet, including vaccinations, medical records, and genetic testing. This transparency can be reassuring for those concerned about potential health issues.

Training Opportunities: Some breeders begin basic training with their pets, providing a head start in terms of socialisation and basic commands. This can be particularly beneficial for those who may not have the time or expertise to start training a pet from scratch.

Drawbacks of Buying

Cost: Purchasing a pet from a breeder can be expensive, especially if the chosen breed is rare or has specific desirable traits. This initial cost is just the beginning, as ongoing expenses for food, veterinary care, and other necessities can add up.

Ethical Concerns: Critics argue that buying pets from breeders contributes to the demand for purebred animals, potentially encouraging irresponsible breeding practices. Overpopulation in shelters remains a concern, and some believe that buying from breeders perpetuates this issue.

Owning a Pet

Taking on the responsibility of owning a pet is a significant undertaking that requires careful consideration. If your pet is younger than six months, in order to qualify for non-commercial purposes, you must demonstrate that it is a well-established family companion. This means you've owned the pet for several months and haven't recently acquired a puppy or pet solely for the purpose of international pet transport UK. Before deciding to bring a pet into your life, it's crucial to reflect on the following aspects:

Financial Considerations

Evaluate whether you can afford the financial commitments associated with pet ownership, including initial fees, vaccinations, food, insurance, and veterinary bills.

Readiness for Responsibilities

  • Assess your preparedness for the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. Dogs, for example, require regular walks, and all animals demand consistent care.

  • The Animal Welfare Act of 2006 outlines these responsibilities and sets pet ownership standards. Notably, it has increased the minimum age for pet purchasing from 12 to 16 years. Individuals under the age of 16 are not permitted to acquire a pet as a prize.

  • Pets that have been in possession for less than six months or are in the process of being bought may incur a decreased valuation and additional expenses for transportation and transport charges.

In England and Wales, pet ownership is restricted to individuals aged 16 and above, a regulation that also applies in Scotland. Additionally, specific types of pets may require a licence, even for those over 16. 

Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet

Let's explore the advantages and drawbacks of owning a pet through adoption:

Advantages of Owning

Saving Lives: Adopting a pet from a shelter gives an animal a second chance at life. Many pets in shelters are in need of loving homes, and adopting reduces the number of animals euthanized due to overcrowding.

Cost-Effective: Adoption fees are generally lower than the cost of buying a pet from a breeder. Additionally, many shelters include vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and sometimes even a microchip as part of the adoption package.

Diverse Choices: Shelters offer a wide variety of breeds, sizes, and ages, providing prospective pet owners with a diverse selection. This diversity allows individuals to find a pet that suits their lifestyle and preferences.

Drawbacks of Owning

Unknown History: Adopted pets often come with unknown backgrounds, including potential behavioural issues or health concerns. While shelters typically conduct thorough assessments, there may be uncertainties about the pet's past experiences.

Training Challenges: Some adopted pets may require additional training or behavioural rehabilitation, especially if they've experienced trauma or neglect in the past. This can be challenging for new pet owners who may not have the experience or resources for extensive training.


The decision between buying a pet and owning one involves various considerations. This comprehensive guide has explored key factors such as initial costs, long-term expenses, time commitments, and the emotional aspects of pet ownership. Each option has advantages and challenges, and individuals must weigh these factors based on their lifestyle, preferences, and resources. 

At Exec Pets, we provide an efficient solution with expert professionals guaranteeing the well-being of your pets during their transportation journeys. Our team of pet transporters stands prepared to assist pet owners across the EU and UK. Contact us today for a seamless pet transportation experience!


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