This question didn't have a tag for buying a pet; I've made an edit suggestion to add . It seems relevant in this case, but adoption to me has the connotation of transferring ownership from one family to another, or perhaps adopting a rescue or a pet from a shelter.

Is there a better word we could use for buying pets from a young age, or is adoption suitable in all cases?

3 Answers 3


I think is fine for all acquisitions, whether free, nominal cost (shelters), or purchases.

The issue of age is orthogonal; people both buy and otherwise adopt adult animals too, not just young ones.

  • 2
    It's been pointed out in chat that while this makes sense for assorted furry pets, people don't tend to think of "adopting" fish, lizards, crawfish, and the like. Oct 11, 2013 at 1:34

There is no wiki for , but personally, I wonder if adoption should be more about the adoption process and not actually bringing a new pet home.

Maybe a new tag for new pets regardless of how the arrive like

  • This makes a lot of sense to me. If we have questions specifically about adoption then they're likely to end up tagged something like "ferals" or "animal-shelters" or the like, right? Oct 11, 2013 at 1:32
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    new-pets could be the synonym and adoption could be a tag
    – user87
    Oct 11, 2013 at 3:05

I think is good for, well, adopting from a shelter or a rescue or from another family, etc, but if the pet is coming from a pet store or breeder, you could also consider , perhaps?

I know a lot of people, myself included, don't always like the connotation of a pet being bought - the idea of an animal you are going to consider a companion being something you buy just like you buy toilet paper or dish soap or what have you is kind of awkward.

That said, I think the actual word will come down to personal preference, but having both and might not be a bad thing, I don't think, as they can have two different connotations in people's minds like I mention in my first paragraph.

  • In what cases would you want to separate these? When would somebody be interested in finding questions about only one type of pet acquisition? Oct 11, 2013 at 0:46

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