It is a proven fact that often the biggest animal lovers don’t actually have a pet of their own.

We all know someone that absolutely adores dogs yet is responsible enough to acknowledge they are not home enough to ensure they are able to provide the love, affection, and quality of life dogs deserve.

Unfortunately, not all of us are as responsible, which is why around 6.5 million companion animals across the US are abandoned in shelters and rescues every year. It is the most rewarding experience to rescue a previously unwanted animal, and it is strongly advised that you adopt rather than purchase from a breeder.

The top five most popular American family pets as of February 2021 are, in ascending order, hamsters, reptiles, fish, cats, and man’s best friend; dogs. Each individual species requires a completely different set of needs, wants, and desires.

Dogs and cats need to be fed a protein-rich diet; Learn much more about the benefits of carbohydrates give to working dogs here. Fish require a cool room, regular cleaning, and quality food, whereas reptiles need specialist heated housing and as much space as possible. Hamsters need a stress-free, peaceful living area with plenty of nooks and crannies to hide.

Read on for key questions to consider before choosing a pet:

Darling Dogs

dog paw balm

• Can you commit long term?
• Have you enough time each day to keep your dog company?
• Can you afford the medical bills and insurance?
• Have you time to exercise and play daily?
• Do you have enough space in your home?

 

Curious Cats

CAT

• Are your children old enough to treat your cat with respect?
• Are any of your family members asthmatic or allergic to fur?
• Is your home cat-friendly?
• Do you have any other animals that may present a problem?
• Can you cope with litter-duty?

 

Fascinating Fish

betta fish

• Are you aware that fish can live for many years?
• Are you prepared to regularly and thoroughly clean the tank?
• Have you someone to feed them when you are away?
• Are you prepared to wait weeks before you can add fish to your tank?
• Have you the money to provide specialist aquariums and equipment?

 

Rambunctious Reptiles

Panther Chameleon

• Are you happy to feed live animals on a daily basis?
• Have you sourced a reptile-specialist vet in your neighborhood?
• Do you have enough space to comfortably house your reptile?
• Can you afford to supply a costly specialist environment?
• Are there rules against keeping a reptile in your accommodation?

 

Headstrong Hamsters

hamsters

• Can you afford a hamster’s vet care and medical bills?
• Are your children old enough to treat your hamster with respect?
• Do you have a peaceful area within your home to keep your hamster?
• Can you commit to a hamster for the length of its lifespan?
• Is a hamster the correct level of animal companionship you are looking for?

 

Considering these questions as well as others will help you learn if you are prepared for the challenges that are involved in owning a pet.

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