Information & The Internet - Best Places To Get Good Advice
It is a fact that today, we have information OVERLOAD. Anyone with an opinion can post on their Facebook pages, websites and in the forums. As much as I like to hear about actual experiences, there is a lot of MISINFORMATION floating around! The New Pet Owner Is LOST trying to find out the most credible information on how to care for the animal that has won their hearts. Often times, they fall prey to bad advice and both the animal & Owner suffer because of it.
What to Do???
The best advice I know to give is through CREDIBLE SOURCES. I personally like Reptiles Magazine, National Geographic, National & local Natural Science Centers & Serpentariums, and a number of wonderful TRUE Rescue Organizations.
In looking through the forums, remember there is a mix of hobbyist, professionals, and people that have very questionable suggestions.
Remember: Not everyone has a compassionate heart regarding animals. Their advice and suggestions will reflect that. I've read some horrific things and seen pictures that made me want to reach through the internet!
Professional: Validate! Make sure if you are reaching out to a Rescue or Business that they have credentials and are Sound places for advice.
IF IT SOUNDS WEIRD OR QUESTIONABLE: It probably IS! Don't just take the first advice you get in a forum. Always check credible resources that are professional. Hobbyist and Attention Seekers Abound and can cause you to make catastrophic mistakes with your animal.
IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO VOLUNTEER OR SPEND TIME WITH A RESCUE OR PROFESSIONAL BREEDER - DO IT! These are the people that can give you real, helpful advice and avoid some common pitfalls in everything from the proper set up to regular maintenance. No one knows more than the ones that care for a number of animals on a regular basis and have consistent HEALTHY, HAPPY, WELL ADJUSTED ANIMALS.
REPTILE SHOWS: These are fun avenues to see the great variety of animals available for pets. Always check the credibility of the vendor you are talking to when you find an animal that "speaks to your heart". They should have history available in either an online presence or longevity in the industry. GOOGLE THEM! IF THERE ARE MULTIPLE NEGATIVE REVIEWS...MOVE ON! There are many, many compassionate vendors that can provide you with a great pet and follow up customer support. Make sure that cute little snake or that tiny beautiful lizard isn't going to need a bedroom in your house within 12 months and the food budget equal to another child! It's important to make sure pet and owner are compatible going forward. Make good choices!
A RESCUE: Adopting an animal from a rescue is a great way of paying it forward. You should get proper advice on care and maintenance as well as education of the species accompanied with unlimited customer support going forward. Expect to pay a bit more for an animal from a rescue. Remember, they take care of many, many different animals at all stages of health. Veterinary services are not always donated and operating a facility is very expensive. A true rescue is a labor of love and their animals are grateful for loving homes.
I hope these tidbits have been helpful. Don't let a bully in a public forum keep you from asking important questions from the right sources. There are many of us available and wanting to help.
There is nothing more rewarding than a Happy, Healthy Pet/Owner Experience. Pets are members of your family & You ARE THEIR WORLD!