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Pets were domesticated around 10,000 years ago. And this time has indicated the onset of a new evolutionary era. People started keeping animals not just for work or meat but also for entertainment and as a decoration. In turn pets have proved to be good companions. Some nations even had sacred animals that they worshipped to and believed in their superpower. Nevertheless, all of us have different reasons for loving and keeping our small friends. And it can be quite challenging to choose an animal you want to live with and care for. There are several tips how to pick the best pet for you.
How to Choose the Pet
If you want to welcome a pet at your home and still in a quandary which one to pick, make a list of pet types and pets’ requirements to consider. First, think about general challenges that you have to face:
- Time commitment. You should understand how much time you can spend with your pet friend. Active domesticated animals, like cats and dogs need lots of attention whereas reptiles and fishes may not need interaction at all. So if you work or travel a lot, social pets may be not right for you. They may get bored, develop bad habits and suffer from depression. Be ready not only to play with your baby animal but also to create the right environment, groom and train it. All these things are quite time-consuming, and you have to perform them for more than a year.
- Space. A big and an agile pet requires a lot of space. If you want to keep it at home, make sure you can satisfy its needs for moving.
- Expenses. Be prepared to provide the pet food, pet toys and pet health products to your small friend. Also you need to pay additional money for pet medical care, pet grooming and obedience trainings. Can you afford it?
- Risks. Take into consideration, that there is always a certain health risk from keeping an animal at home. For example, you or your family members may develop allergy to pet’s fur or feathers. A mishandled animals can even bite or attack that may lead to dangerous illnesses or death. Be responsible not only for your pet’s life but also for your and your family’s health.
What Pet Type is Right for You
Different types of pets have their individual advantages and disadvantages. And of course, each animal breed has its own peculiarities. It’s necessary to research distinct features of particular species if you’ve decided on one. The most common pets among mammals are dogs, cats, rabbits, rodent pets such as hamsters, chinchillas and guinea pigs, avian pets like canaries and parrots. Among reptile pets the most popular are turtles and lizards, and the most common aquatic pets are goldfish and frogs.
Dogs and Cats
These social and active animals can be the best friends, if you are able to give them enough attention and nurture them properly. In case you are not ready to provide them with enough space for physical activity and proper interaction, you may need to adopt other pets. Moreover, these pets live quite long and they should fit your plans and lifestyle for the future decade. Take into consideration, that any changes in family life or frequent moving can be quite stressful for cats and dogs. It can reflect not on their behavior but also on their health. Also, think about travel opportunities for your pet friend. Or about people who will be ready to care for it when you are away.
These animals are comparatively small so they do not take up much space. Their life span is quite long - up to 10 years if you take care of it properly. Due to their independence they do not require much of your entertainment. But you need to clean the cage regularly to prevent infections and harsh odor. It’s quite difficult to train pet rabbits due to their stubbornness; however it’s possible to teach them to use a litter box. Also be sure that you’ve hidden all the fragile and important things to the upper level, because these pet friends like chewing objects.
If you need small, high-energetic and inexpensive animals, rodents are for you. Moreover, they do not need so much communication with people like cats and dogs, especially if there is a rodent companion, enough space to move and toys. Some rodents can even perform tricks. But be ready to clean the cages daily and to be deep-cleaned every week. Also, it can be quite emotionally difficult to part with a small family member in 3 years. Especially, it can be traumatic for kids.
Such social animals require a lot of communication so they need a lot of interaction with people. Most bored birds tend to develop bad habits like overeating or over-grooming that can reflect negatively on their health. That’s why these animals need a bird companion as much as rodents. If you don’t want to have too much noise, you may buy toys instead of them. Like cats and dogs, bird pets can live more than one decade. It’s necessary to understand, that they should fit perfectly your lifestyle and plans for life. Make sure, that you will be able to clean cages regularly and you have enough space for a bird to fly freely at least an hour per day. A big advantage that your pet friend doesn’t require regular visits to the vet and a lot of grooming. But you need to observe your bird carefully. Such animals do not tend to show the signs of illness until the problem gets very serious.
First, before getting a reptile, you need to study carefully the information about this kind of animals. They are quite peculiar pets that differ significantly from mammals in their environmental and nutrition needs. Moreover, keeping a reptile pet can be quite risky. Poisonous, predatory or large reptiles can be dangerous not only for you and your family. Make sure that you can handle your pet animal properly and you understand all the peculiarities of its behavior. Moreover, it can be quite expensive to have a reptile due to its thermal and dietary requirements. Take a closer look at your pet’s spatial needs, because some lizards and snakes can grow really fast. Also, think whether you’re ready to take care of your reptile for a long time. Some species can live 40 years and longer.
Fish and Frogs
If you are looking for amicable friends that do not require your society- these pets are for you. Aquarium tropical fishes and frogs require special environment and feeding as much as reptiles, but they are far less dangerous. Before purchasing such pets it’s necessary to study their spatial needs and their compatibility with other species. That will help you to organize your tank properly and to choose the right size of it. Be ready to clean the aquarium regularly and to prepare the right water for your dear animals. Also, be sure, that you have a person who is willing to keep an eye on your pets when you are away for more than one day.
Advantages and disadvantages of keeping a pet
To be completely prepared for “a newcomer” to your home, consider carefully all the pros and cons of having a pet. It will help not to be too surprised by possible drawbacks but also to remember why your pet friend is still important to you.
The Most Valuable Advantages of Having a Pet
- Help to reduce stress. Pets are capable to reduce stress, lower anxiety and blood pressure. Especially, it’s essential for people, who cope with stressful situations daily during working hours. Children benefit much from cuddling an animal as well. Due to pets’ ability to empathise, kids learn how to overcome irritability and depression.
- Help people with serious illnesses. Patients who suffer from such diseases like cancer and multiple sclerosis find interaction with animals very relaxing. Pet friends contribute to setting a positive role model, promoting social contacts and having a loyal companion.
- Help to live a healthier lifestyle. For example, such pets like dogs help to exercise more and to lose weight. Also animals may develop your new skills, boost your reaction and agility and improve your mental health.
- Help to grow emotionally. Pets teach us how to control our temper, to be forgiving and responsible. Especially, it’s important for children, who can learn it from their pet friend. Moreover, animals help to develop strong bonds within the family, due to joint caring, playing and sharing the responsibilities.
- Help to feel safe and secure. If you have a dog, especially a big guard dog, you and your family may not be afraid that your house will be broken in. And you may walk safely down any suspicious street with it on your side.
The Most Significant Disadvantages that You Have to Take into Account
- Expensiveness. It can cost a lot of money to take care of an animal. The expenses may include not only general ones like food and grooming, but also emergency cases like unexpected illnesses and traumas. And pet medical care bills can be quite high.
- Destruction and cleanliness. Young pets have a bad habit of chewing, tearing and scratching everything that can be chewed, torn and scratched. So you will probably have to say “goodbye” to your favourite sofa and shoes. Moreover, at first you need to deal with unpleasant smell, poos and pees around your home.
- Require a lot of work and patience. Be ready to train your young animals a lot, clean, groom, walk. It takes plenty of time and patience to perform it daily. And these everyday chores can cause your schedule disorder.
- Can be dangerous. Even the smartest pet will never behave like a real person. And its behaviour can change significantly if the animal is hurt, ill or afraid of anything. Be sure that you’ve chosen the right kind, size and breed and you know all the behavioral peculiarities.
Regardless, what pet you’ve decided on, you need to be confident that you’re ready for it to come into your life. This decision will affect not only your lifestyle and daily routine, but also your family. Be sure that no one is allergic to animals and that everyone is ready to take care of a pet and train it. Kids need to be mature enough to understand and take responsibility for a pet and not to do any accidental harm to them. Remember, that your pet will always your best friend if you are eager to give more love and affection than to take. Because they are like children that never grow up.