The Most Popular Pets
While there are literally thousands of animals that could be considered pet-worthy, there are a few basic types accessible to most families. There are some others that are popular but not necessarily widely accessible:
Dogs are obviously a top pick for family pets. A lot of families like to get a puppy for their young child so they can grow up together. This is a sweet idea and can develop very tight bonds. Dogs are high maintenance. They require feeding multiple times a day, constant fresh water, walking or space to run around and affection. They are wonderful animals if well taken care of, but are easily traumatized if treated badly. Despite popular belief, American pit bulls are considered among the best breeds to raise from puppyhood with young children. There are thousands of breeds to choose from, ranging in size from the miniscule teacup varieties that weigh only a few pounds in adulthood, to the enormous animals that can outweigh a grown man.
Cats are also popular choices. These animals can be very playful and affectionate, but also aloof and distant. Some cats require a lot of grooming to remain healthy and happy, while others need only food, water, a litter box and a comfortable place to sleep. Declawing was once common practice but is now considered an inhumane procedure that is discouraged. This means that you may want to provide scratching posts so your pet can respond to its natural urge to scratch. Some cat owners have also had great success training their cats to use a toilet or bath tub instead of a litter box. Because they are carriers of potentially harmful bacteria, having a cat is not recommended during pregnancy and infanthood.
Fish are great starter pets for children. They require only food and water changes. They aren’t cuddly but can be fun to watch. One drawback is that they do not have long lifespans, which can be very hard on children.
Pigs are the trendiest of pets right now, especially the newest breed of teacup pigs. Teacup pigs are less than 5 pounds in adulthood and can be treated like small dogs. They are very clean animals, but require a lot of attention and affection, as well as exercise, to be happy and healthy. Pot belly pigs are a popular choice because they are easily domesticated, clean and highly intelligent. Note that owning pigs is prohibited in some areas due to livestock laws.
Lizards are popular among boys. Their size ranges from inches up to six feet long or more. When they are small, they are kept in heated aquariums and the larger sizes live freely in the house like a dog. Some of these animals can be fed pellets or vegetables, but most eat bugs or small animals. Food can be freeze-dried, but live food is considered best. This may be difficult for squeamish people who don’t like the idea of watching something being eaten alive. Lizards can be very loyal, fun to own and require little maintenance.