“Please mommy, please daddy, can we please get a puppy!”
Perhaps you are finally giving in to the pleas of your child. Or maybe you're at a stage in which a pet could fit into your daily life and become a beloved companion. Whatever the reason for your pet seeking, choosing the right pet can be a difficult decision.
Whether you hate the idea of fur everywhere, there are allergies in the family, or you go out of town frequently there are many factors to consider when choosing what kind of animal you are able to care for or put up with. There are even more factors to consider if your child is going to be the pet's primary caretaker.
Are you able to afford a pet? Do you have time to meet a pet's needs? Will your pet have enough space to get the exercise required? Can you handle the noise and mess that will come with your pet of choice?
If you're still on the pet fence or are trying to determine which will work best for your family, check out the pros and cons of various pets. By taking these into consideration when deciding what type of pet works best for your family and your lifestyle, you'll better prepared to pick the perfect pet.
Pros: They are smart, loving, loyal, and energetic. It's no wonder they're known as man's best friend. On top of that, many breeds are great with kids, some make good watch dogs, and they require exercise - forcing you to get your exercise as well.
Cons: You may not see the daily exercise as a pro, but rather another chore to add to your long list. Dogs need training and lots of affection, so make sure you have the time and energy to give them. If you plan on keeping your dog indoors, be prepared to potty train your dog. This is not always an easy task. Dogs with fur may shed badly and dogs with hair will need to be groomed. You will need to find a sitter or board your dog when you go out of town.
Pros: Low-maintenance, independent, cuddly, and playful, cats are very popular pets. Unlike dogs, cats don't need to be taken out for a walk and don't need to be groomed. They also don't need baths, as they lick themselves to stay clean. Additionally, it's fairly easy to leave a cat at home for a few days if you go out of town.
Cons: The negative aspects of owning a cat include a stinky litter box that needs regular cleaning. Also, cats shed, and if they have claws, they may scratch whatever furniture they can get their claws on. In addition, many people are allergic to cats.
Pros: Also known as budgies, parakeets make great pets too. They are known to be playful, cheerful, smart, and interactive. They can be trained to sit on your finger or shoulder, perform tricks, and even talk. They are great for young kids and are a budget-friendly option.
Cons: Parakeets live in small cages and are messy. Their cage and the surrounding floor will need to be cleaned often. Another con for some people is the amount of chirping these birds make throughout the day.
Pros: Fish are a great pet for those with allergies or limited space. They are fairly low-maintenance and are fun to sit and watch. On top of these pros, fish don't need to be taken out for walks or to potty, and they don't shed or make noise.
Cons: Fish aren't too keen on affection or interaction and their bowls or tanks require cleaning and careful care to keep the fish alive.
Pros: Hamsters are cute, fun, small, low-maintenance, and inexpensive. They don't take up much space and don't make much mess outside their cage. If they are held and petted from the start, they will be friendly and affectionate.
Cons: Their cages must be cleaned periodically. If not given much attention, they may become unfriendly. Since they're typically asleep during the day and active at night, you may hear them running in their wheel all night long.