The world over, the most commonly owned pet is a dog. Cats come in second, and then there is a huge drop down to a variety of small rodents that come in third.
That means if you want a pet, think you are up to the task of owning one, then your choice is pretty simple. What do you want: cat or dog? There has got to be a reason so many people choose these two species.
There is, of course, but the reasons can make them prohibitive as well. Dogs, for example, are loving and boisterous – but are problematic if you don’t have much time. Cats are more independent and suit busy people better, but still demand a lot of time and attention. Neither species could be described as low maintenance; they are complete little personalities that require constant care.
The same is true of the other types of pets, of course. Whether it’s a hedgehog or a fish, they all have their own personality that you will come to understand. But, generally, cats and dogs have the biggest – and request the most from their owners in return.
So what if you want something different? Or are allergic to cat and dog fur? Or just want to break the mold and experience a different creature to give loving care to?
The options here are endless and depend on your idea of pet ownership. It also depends on the kind of creatures that you find interesting. If you want to step out of the dog/cat monopoly, you have plenty of options:
From budgerigars through to macaws, there is a bird to suit everyone. Birds are more hands-off than their four-legged counterparts, which is beneficial if you don’t have much time – but harder if you want someone to snuggle with.
Good Points: Easy to care for, relatively easy to find as you can locate plenty of macaws for sale with little effort.
Bad Points: Depending on the type of bird, shorter lifespans than cats and dogs. Parrots are the choice if you want longevity; some can live up to 100 years.
Ferrets, mice, rats – they all belong in this category. For many of us, these are starter pets – the ones our parents let us have to see if we were up to the task.
Good Points: Cheap, easy to find and easy to care for.
Bad Points: Even well-cared for, lifespans can be short. Ferrets are the best choice, averaging between six and 10 years.
The ultimate hands-off pet, suitable if you go away for long periods of time.
Good Points: Easy to care for, easy to find to purchase.
Bad Points: Lifespan isn’t great and perhaps the least opportunity for human-pet bonding.
Hedgehogs have become more popular as pets over recent years, especially the African Pygmies. These curious creatures are adorable too – which helps!
Good Points: Adorable, can be sociable if handled correctly, easy to care for
Bad Points: Require specialist knowledge and care, so do your homework! Can be unfriendly unless socialized with humans, and also quite difficult to find to buy.
The choice is yours!