Choosing Your Pet, what you need to know
Every home deserves a pet to make it complete. Choosing the right pet for your home and your family means that you need to know what you are going to be in for. If you have had pets before you might already have a preference on what you want to get. It doesn’t hurt to keep your options open though as you just might fall in love with something else you might see instead. (Perfect example would be my wife who is a dog lover. Unfortunately for her she is allergic to most dogs. We instead got a couple of cats at the shelter, and while my cat my drive her nuts at times, she is often seen rubbing his belly and giving him treats.)
If you have never had a pet before, getting one for the first time is exciting. It’s also a little nerve wracking as there is going to be a lot of learning between you and your new pet. The first thing you need to do is your research to see what pet will be the best for you. Here we have given you a taste of what to expect, although you might want to consider more information when it comes to breeds, and age restrictions.
(To give you some background my family goes back many generations as farmers, having had all types of animals. I spent many years on ranches taking care of all kinds of animals, and later worked in zoos and animal clinics to care for pets of all kinds. Personally, I’ve raised all four of the animals we are talking about here as well as ferrets, rabbits, and every type of farm animal.)
Man’s Best Friend
This is the most commonly found pet, and you will always see them at pet stores, and unfortunately shelters as well. The dog comes in all different shapes and sizes and every one of them is cute as a puppy. Some of them grow to be quite large and others will stay small. If you treat a dog with love, care and understanding it will grow to love you back and forever be loyal to you. There are so many stories of a dog’s loyalty to his or her family which is what gives them the name of “man’s best friend”.
Puppies tend to pee, a lot! They pee when they are excited, they pee when they are playing, and they pee to mark their territory outside, once they are trained. Training is the key, and it takes a little work, but once they are trained to do their business outside they will know and understand it. The key is to take them outside at the same time every day and show them where to go. They will figure out the rest. If they have an accident in the house you will need to swat them, and show them it was wrong or they will keep doing it. (Don’t worry they get over it, and you don’t need to beat an animal to train them, just be assertive with one swat on the hind quarters.) There are even places that can provide training for you, and include you in the training to get the two of you more acquainted. Dogs are by far the easiest animal to train as they want to learn from their master. You can teach them tricks such as, fetch, sit, beg, jump and many more.
A dog will protect its owner and senses when there is a bad person or danger nearby. They will protect your home, usually by barking to alert those that there is an intruder. They are playful and fun, and many of them love children, especially if the child is raised with them.
The King/Queen of the Castle
Have you ever seen a cat sitting at the top of the perch as it looks down upon you? This is what makes them the King or Queen of the castle. They feel they own
the entire house and you must cater to their every whim. For those of us who are cat lovers, for the most part, we do cater to their every whim. Most cats are fuzzy and warm, purring when they are happy. They are comforting, often sensing when something is wrong so they will come to you and curl up in your lap.
Cats are cute, but they can be very finicky when it comes to food. We tend to give our cats dry food, and once a day a can of wet food. This way they get something they like and something they need at the same time. Much like dogs you can train them with treats, but they don’t listen as well. If you want to train them for tricks or specific things, get them as kittens and start them young. After they are a year old it will be more difficult to teach them anything other than where the litter box is, and where the food and water is.
Cats tend to be great at keeping rodents and bugs out of the house, which makes them a great addition. They are also good for anxiety and those with mood issues. Like anybody, they learn at their own pace and some are smarter than others. Most are smarter than you think. They do learn their names, but don’t always come when they are called by them.
Filling the Air with Beautiful Music
If you like an animal that sings than a bird might be what you are looking for. Their tweets and musical talent can be mesmerizing for some, and annoying for others. Some birds only tweet, some can be taught to talk and even sing. All of them are colorful and a little skittish. You will need to have a cage for them and have more of a mess to clean up after than some pets, although it is not time consuming. Newspaper on the bottom of the cage changed out daily usually does the trick along with fresh food and water daily.
Some birds such as parakeets, cockatiels, macaws and others can be taught to do tricks such as talk, play dead, sing on command, climb, fly and more. Birds are more social than most animals and as a result can get lonely. If you are away from home a lot or work long hours you are going to want more than one bird. A bird by itself for that long will get lonely, especially locked in their cage for so long and could die of depression. It’s best to have a few of them, unless you are home all the time, just make sure they get along.
A Work of Art in an Aquarium
The motion and trickle of water is peaceful to many people, and the sight of an aquarium can be alluring. When a full tank is completed you can have wondrous
amounts of color, and various fish swimming to and fro. There are tons of varieties of fish that live quite well in aquariums, just make sure you do your research and have the right equipment. Fish tanks can get pricey, but it’s not the tank that will cost the most, but rather the equipment and designs you put into it.
You can use different colored rocks to decorate the bottom of the tank, along with plants either artificial or live if your fish take to them. And you can decorate it with places for your fish to hide and play in. Some tanks require a heater, and all of them are going to need a way to keep them clean and oxygenated. Fish swim in groups called schools meaning you might want several fish to make your tank complete. Feed them the right amount of food, and at the same time daily. Be sure and watch for discoloration in the tank and in the fish to be alert to water changes or sickness. The more expensive the equipment the less likely you will have to spend on upkeeping the tank itself.