THE WORLD OF ANIMALS IN THE 21st CENTURY
Choosing a Pet
Choosing a pet is a difficult and often time-consuming ordeal, but there are certain guidelines you can use to figure out what animal is right for you as a family member or a lifelong companion. Statistics show that children who own pets are likely to interact in a more mature and friendly matter, though not all pets are created equal. First, it is imperative to figure out the spatial and time limitations of your lifestyle. If you live in a small apartment, a cat or a small dog may be more sensible than a behemoth of a dog. Moreover, in apartment buildings, you may also want to be wary of neighbors who may complain of the constant barking of a canine, and elect to buy a quiet cat instead. If you are gone or working for a large portion of the day, a dog, an affectionate and attention-craving creature by nature, may not be ideal. A cat, on the other hand, is very independent and not nearly as restless, enabling it to easily cope with long hours alone.
The number of members in your family, in addition to their ages, should also be taken into consideration. Common family pets are dogs and cats, to which children generally respond well, but be careful: persistent rough-housing and tail-tugging could end up in a child’s injury, even from the most placid animal. Reptiles present less of a temperament risk, though may not be ideal for younger children, as they are known to transfer the salmonella disease. This, however, may not be an issue if your children are vaccinated and dedicated to caring for the animal. If any of your family members have allergies to animals, you may consider hairless animals, such as poodles or hairless cats, which present minimal to zero risk of shedding.
The decision whether to buy from a breeder or adopt may be important to you. Buying from a breeder usually ensures purebred animals with specific choices. Adopting provides the satisfaction (and the childhood lesson in altruism) of giving an abandoned animal a new home. Additionally, your choices are much more varied, especially if you don’t mind a mixed-breed. However, with adoption you should exercise caution, as adopted pets have unknown pasts and can display unexpected and unwanted behavior patterns.
Most importantly, whatever furry, slimy, or scaly friend you choose, make sure that you are willing to care for your new pet and welcome it into your life.#