Yesterday was national pet day, so this week we’re going to break the rules and have pet week a bit early. We’re going to take a look at some of the more popular pets, and discuss some of their requirements, and whether or not they’ll fit into your lifestyle.
Of course we’re going to start with dogs, they’re one of the most popular pets and are synonymous with man’s best friend. How could we not start with them? They seem to be tied with cats as the animal people think of when the word pet comes up. However, when it comes to the more common pets, dogs are probably the most difficult, expensive, and will require the most attention.
Dogs are often compared to eternal toddlers, because there will never be a day in their life where you can leave them alone. They require pottybreaks outdoors (usually), need to be fed twice a day (usually), need to always have water (usually), and will destroy things if they’re not kept mentally stimulated.
If you’re looking for an easy pet then a dog is not the right answer. They’re lovable, yes, but require quite a lot of time and effort from their owners.
Cats are the easier version of dogs (again, usually). They’re smaller, tend to be more capable of taking care of themselves, and don’t their owner to let them out to potty. Cats often have the stigma of being antisocial, but this largely depends on the personality of the cat itself. While stubborn, cats can be trained to do tricks, but it will require much more patience and not all cats are willing to learn.
To keep a cat happy, you must have food, water, a litter box, and some toys. Outside cats can often take care of themselves completely, but it’s always a good idea to provide water and food for the cats who aren’t the most successful hunters. Cats can, of course, be very bad for their environment, and tend to live shorter lives if they venture outside. This is important to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide if your cat will live indoors with you, or outdoors.
Cats are better pets than dogs for those who won’t be home often or are looking for a more laid-back pet than a dog.
Fish are the most common of the uncommon pets, and unfortunately they have a tendency to die in the care of those who don’t do their research before purchasing them. Fish often require extensive research to understand what size tank they will need, what food they will need, and what, if any, other fish they can live with.
Fish will also require a sizeable investment from the start, with most tank set-ups in the hundreds of dollars, and will require daily care for the entirety of their existence. Unlike dogs, fish can be left alone for a few days, but they will also run into problems quickly if you’re not very attentive.
Without a doubt, a bird is the most difficult and time-consuming pet that you can own, and many live for as long as, if not longer, than dogs and cats. They’re smart, social, moody, and destructive. They require large cages, specific diets, toys, and near constant social interaction. They’re also loud and messy.
While a dog is an eternal toddler, birds are eternal babies. They don’t take well to strangers, can break bones with their bite force, and have a tendency to destroy things. They are not, in any way, shape, or form, suggested for beginning pet owners. Their intelligence makes them rewarding, but they are immensely challenging.
Reptiles tend to be the easiest pets to own, but each have their own special requirements. Snakes can go for weeks without eating and days without drinking, and can be left alone almost entirely aside for those two requirements. Lizards are slightly more challenging, most needing fed every other day. Human interaction isn’t required, as most reptiles aren’t social. They’re pretty to own, though, which makes them popular.
Never believe that a reptile loves you. This can get you hurt. Reptiles tolerate their owners and might even begin to associate them positively, but they lack the capability to love.
There are some of the more common pets, their requirements, and their difficulties. We hope you enjoyed your National Pet Day!