Which Pet will suit your family?

There are so many amazing animal species, many of which make wonderful pets and loving family members. Following on from our previous post on The Dos And Don’ts Of Choosing The Right Pet For You, here we look at what to consider when trying to decide which animal might be the right fit for your family.

Puppies & Dogs

Dogs are social animals that like to have company. This means that they won’t have a happy life if they’re left outside alone or chained up in the yard.

Dogs are a long-term commitment and you shouldn’t get one unless you know for a fact that you’d be spending several hours a day with him or her.

Since dogs come in all shapes and sizes, the breed you choose is one of the most important things to consider. If you live in an apartment, smaller breeds and toy dogs will be best as larger dogs need a lot of space.

You need to ensure that you can properly train the dog and he must be taught basic commands such as “sit,” “stay” and “come” so that you can go out and about and meet the neighbors without causing trouble!

There are a lot of things to consider when getting a dog such as a climate, the members of your family, the size of your house, the purpose of the breed, etc.  And remember that adopting a puppy is always a huge responsibility.

You must also take into account the exercise requirements of the dog you choose. Breeds such as the Springer Spaniel, Border Collie or Siberian Husky will be high energy and so will require lots of exercise and energetic play time. On the other side of the energy fence, Basset Hounds, Bulldogs and Shih Tzu’s are known to be lower-energy breeds and may be a better option if you have no inclination to wear your dog out with intense bouts of daily romps in the woods! Do your research, talk to friends with dogs and consult Dr. Google so you can decide on the best type of dog for your family.

Kittens & Cats

Cats deserve a lot of attention and love (though they still may remain totally aloof! ; )). However, they don’t need as much attention as a dog might and are comparatively low maintenance. They still enjoy cuddles and playing with the family though, meaning that they will need your attention on a daily basis.

Cats are particular about their litter boxes and need it to be clean at all times. Many also like to scratch everything they can get their nails into so; you might have to say goodbye to some pieces of your furniture!

There are many cat breeds to choose from and you will also need to decide between keeping an indoor or outdoor cat. A fully indoors life is not natural for a cat, but depending on where you live, it can be a lot safer.

Birds

Birds are beautiful, but they aren’t as easy to take care for as you might think!

Birds are known to be social & intelligent, which means that they do need a lot of attention and you will need to spend time with your bird on a daily basis. Birds do better in pairs, so you should consider getting two instead of one to keep each other company when you’re not there. Some birds such as the parrot that can live for up to 50 years, so they can be a long-term commitment.

An ideal cage for a bird should allow her to fully spread her wings to fly from one side to the other and do keep in mind that birds really need at least two hours of attention from you and need some form of entertainment as well.

Some birds have varied and complex diets that need to be prepared on a daily basis and be aware that they can be messy, so be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning the cage!

Rabbits

Rabbits are social and intelligent animals that need love and affection. They are wonderful companions if given a chance to interact with humans.

Rabbits have an average lifespan of 7 years and they need to be taken care of on a daily basis. Their delicate digestive system calls for a varied diet and they need a quiet environment, so they don’t do well with hectic schedules and don’t go along with other rowdy pets.

Ferrets

Ferrets (from the weasel family) have a playful, active nature and distinctive as well as engaging personalities. They are extremely social, and affectionate creatures who share a close bond with their people.

You need to keep in mind that they aren’t low-maintenance pets.

Ferrets require a specific diet and constant cage cleaning and they shouldn’t be left alone in a cage for too long. Ferrets need play time outside their cages on a daily basis, and they must be supervised.

With a high metabolism, a long lifespan of eight to ten years and strong personalities, ferrets aren’t the right choice for everyone, but they might be for you!

Horses

Horses need a serious amount and commitment of time, care, and money. And as they can live up to 30-35 years old, they are a long-term commitment.

You also need to consider if you’d be willing to take care of the horse even when you’re no longer able ride him or her due to age or injury. Horses are not only expensive to buy (depending on the type, age and ability of horse you go for), but they are also extremely expensive to keep. So choosing a horse is only suitable for those with the experience, time and commitment to make it all worthwhile.

Potbellied Pigs

Potbellied pigs are intelligent and sensitive which makes them wonderful companion animals.

They need caregivers who have knowledge about their behavior and care needs and are committed to giving them loving care and some mental stimulation. One of the most important things to check, however, is if your area is zoned for potbellied pigs and whether you have a suitable yard to keep him or her comfortable and happy.

Reptiles and Amphibians

There are all sorts of reptiles and amphibians that make great pets, including snakes, frogs, turtles, lizards, and more. They make ideal pets in many ways – they are very quiet and have virtually no odor. The space needed to house them can be an area smaller than a flower pot or as large as a room, depending on the type of pet you choose. So, you can find a suitable reptile or amphibian for a pet whether you live in a dorm room, an apartment, or in a 10 bedroom house!  Reptiles and amphibians are easy to take care of with a minimum amount of cleaning and you can even miss a feeding occasionally and not worry about it as they don’t get to eat constantly in nature. So, if you’re looking for a low maintenance addition to the family, a reptile or amphibian could be for you.

Final Words: Selecting The Right Animal For Your Family

There are a lot of things you should consider when selecting the right animal for your family such as the associated costs, medical expenses, time and energy needed, etc.

While some animals are low maintenance, others need a lot of attention.

You should choose an animal that suits your needs and that of your family, whilst also taking full account of the animals needs and ideal life style.

What animals do you have that have joined your family over the years? Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear all about them!

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