Pets, Which One is Your Choice?
Where to go to find a pet
Choosing a pet is like a woman choosing a pair of shoes...it's best to have one that goes with everything, or in the case of pets, everyone. You wouldn't want to choose a Persian cat if your husband is allergic to cats; at least you shouldn't want to. Of course you can buy your pets in a variety of places ranging from pet stores to private breeders but that's another hub. Before buying any pet make sure the pet and his habits fit you and the habits of those in your house. Some pet stores offer quality pets but be careful when buying from a pet store, especially if you're thinking about a dog or cat since it's likely they came from a "puppy mill" situation. Its always better to go right to a breeder or a reputable rescue organization.
Types of Pets
There is a myriad of pets to choose from. Having had four children we have had quite a variety of pets in our day. The black salamanders that lived in a box in my son's bedroom were definitely not my favorite. I am not a reptile person. They were 'captured' in a small pond behind our house and lived with us for a few months. My daughter had two iguanas that got so big and strong she had to give them to a zoo. Fortunately she wasn't living with us at the time. Iguanas can grow to six feet and I'm pretty sure hers were darn close. They eat leaves and need to be kept in a warm environment. However, it would seem to me they don't like being confined! She had hers in a very large fish tank but it wasn't good enough for them, they were always getting out. Even with a concrete block holding the lid down! If you want to learn more about iguanas you can at Pet Iguana Care.
We had rabbits which, I must admit, I really liked. First we had Lucky, my son won him in a raffle. The problem with rabbits is they seem to just up and die which is what happened to Lucky. Since everyone was so heartbroken we then got Pixie and Dixie, a white rabbit and a black rabbit. They were very affectionate and loved to be let out of their cage. The dog we had at the time got along very well with our rabbits, and the rabbits got along very well with her. They actually liked to play together. The kids would carry them around and the rabbits never objected! I have since learned if you have a pet rabbit it's better to keep them in the house. They can be litter box trained and should be spayed or neutered to prevent them from marking their territory. Chewing is a natural instinct for rabbits so you have to really be careful around the house. You can find out more about keeping a rabbit in the house by visiting the House Rabbit Society.
Birds as Pets
Among the choices of small pets, birds are very popular pets and provide a variety of types of companionship depending on the type of bird you purchase. Many people fall in love with Macaws when they see them in a pet store. They are large beautiful birds but they are large beautiful birds. Large birds need a lot of space. People also need to realize Macaws can live to be 100 years old, now that's a lifetime commitment! Canaries are lovely singers, small and easy to care for but there is no human interaction with a canary.
Cockatiels and African Grays are very popular. Cockatiels can learn to talk but are more proficient at whistling and love to mimic sounds. African Grays are said to be the most intelligent with vocabularies of up to 2,000 words! So choosing a pet bird needs to be in a category of its own with a lot of research before the actual purchase.
Over the course of time we have had a parakeets, finches and cockatiels. I have to admit, the cockatiels were the most fun though I wouldn't mind trying an African Gray.
Fish to Mammals
Then there are fish and turtles. What I like to call "water sports." We've had both. Never salt water or tropical fish though as I didn't have the time or patience to be regulating water temperature. The funny thing about owning fish is it's considered more of a hobby than pet ownership but I include it here because it can be considered owning a pet. Keeping fish is more work than other pets in my opinion because you are responsible for the aquarium as well. The right ecological balance helps keep the tank clean but is not always easy to accomplish.
As with birds there are many different kinds of fish that provide different 'social' aspects in your aquarium. It's not as easy as just winning a little goldfish at a carnival and throwing him in a bowl. There is a lot of work and enjoyment with fish but a lot of equipment needed too.
Ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, the small mammals. (Of course mice and rats should probably be included here as well.) In researching this article I found out that ferrets have been pets longer than cats! Ancient Egyptians domesticated ferrets. Of course, they had a reason, they needed the ferrets to hunt mice and rats. The ferrets sold in pet stores are not "wild" animals and are about as dependent as a puppy. They are playful and have lots of energy. The one draw back to ferrets is their natural odor. Even if they have been 'descented' they still have an odor.
Hamsters like to sleep during the day. They do like to play and are generally friendly but are easily alarmed and can be nippy. They are a little more messy than gerbils. Gerbils are a lot like hamsters but not messy. Gerbils are also more sociable and if handled when they are very young they don't tend to nip as much as hamsters.
Of course there are also chinchillas and guinea pigs, but if I tried to name every possible pet there wouldn't be enough space or time here to do so.
Dogs or Cats
Of course no article or hub on pets would be complete without man's best friends - dogs and cats. The war over which is a better pet - a dog or a cat - has been waging and will continue to wage. Some people are just dog people and some people are just cat people. As with anything there are exceptions to the rule and you will find people that have both dogs and cats.
A lot of men think cats are for sissies and women. They don't realize their fear of cats stems from the fact that cats are intelligent and very self-sufficient. Dogs are warmer, easier to get to know, and just more affectionate - in most instances. There is no black and white with animals, it's all gray because anything you try to state as an absolute will be disproven within minutes!
Everyone knows there are hundreds of breeds of dogs in every size and shape imaginable. Their dispositions and habits can be traced through their breeds. We had a min pin who passed away and decided to get another min pin. The second min pin, Buzz, does the same things our first min pin did. He loves to crawl under the covers and sleep in our bed. He likes to jump up and sleep on your lap while you're watching TV. He would eat 24/7 if you let him. Not all dogs behave this way, but all min pins do. So, if you are looking for a dog the best thing to do is thoroughly research the breed you want and see if his behavior matches up with your needs. My son has a wonderful St. Bernard. Nicest, lovable dog every, but he needs long walks with not too much running so he doesn't tire. He doesn't tolerate the heat very well. He drools incessantly and his hair mats easily. On the other hand, my other son has a Bichon Frise. He is very energetic and affectionate. He does not shed at all. He loves everyone and does well with a minimum of exercise. So, it's a matter of finding the right breed for you. Rescue dogs abound and should never be ruled out. I had several and they make wonderful family pets.
While I do have a Persian cat, I'm not normally a cat person. I inherited the cat from my daughter and do love her dearly. She's beautiful but needs a periodic hair cut as she won't let us near her with a brush. She likes to be petted, on her terms and her time. Other than that she is easier to care for than the dog as she doesn't need walks, we can leave her alone for a day or two with extra food and a clean litter box, something we certainly can't do with our dog.
Choosing a Pet
I Leave You With Food for Thought
The opinions expressed here are purely my own but I hope they have given you food for thought in choosing a pet. Family pets need family consideration, everyone should have a say in what they are looking for and what they are willing to do to entertain and care for the pet. A single household or a two person household is much easier to determine with only one or two people involved.
I hope my thoughts have been of some help if you are trying to choose a pet. Of course, there is lots of good information in other hubs right here on hub pages but also elsewhere on the Internet, especially pet specific web sites. Good luck in your quest!
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