According to research one of the biggest impulse purchases during the holidays is typically an animal.

But what many don’t consider are the many responsibilities that come with purchasing a pet.

After speaking with the owner and managers of The Exotic Pet Jungle in Morgantown they explained what it truly means to be a responsible pet owner and purchaser.

Manager of the Exotic Pet Jungle, Laura Stiller, said the most important thing is to be educated on the animal.

“We don’t want someone to take a pet home and then them not know what they’re doing and the pet suffer and then them not having a good experience having a pet, the whole idea of having a pet is having something that you can love that loves you back, well it’s not going to love you if you don’t take proper care of it, so we’re big on education here,” said Stiller.  

Owner of the Exotic Pet Jungle, Emily Sanders, said along with proper care and education there are many other responsibilities to consider before purchasing an animal.

“You’re dealing with a life here, I mean if you want to buy a dog bone I mean hey have at it, but when it comes to a life I mean it’s a life, it’s your kid, it’s my kid until it’s not and I expect you to take care of it the same way we would here,” said Sanders.

Exotic Pet Jungle manager, Kelly Wilken, said whether it’s a dog, a guinea pig, or even a tortoise each animal requires a different amount of care and affection to consider.

“Obviously if you come in here and you’ve never had a reptile and you want to buy the biggest snake there is that’s probably not the best choice we probably want to start out with something a little smaller, we want you to do your research people don’t do enough research, there’s so much good information but there’s also so much bad information, so we try to weed through all that and give them exactly what they need to take care of that animal,” explained Wilken.  

Managers said they suggest purchasing the essentials before buying the actual animal and offering a gift card as an alternative.  

“Get all the accessories, get the cage, get all that stuff that they can open under the tree and then a gift card for the actual animal, let that person whether it’s a college student, a grandma, or a six-year little kid, let them come up here and bond with the animal and let that animal choose them,” said Stiller.

If you’re planning on purchasing an animal this Christmas please be prepared for the amount of nurturing and care they truly take.