When it comes to pets in the United States, cats and dogs reign supreme. But there’s upward of 1 trillion different species on the planet why limit yourself to just two types of animals?
These adoption-worthy animals don’t get nearly as much attention as their canine and feline counterparts, but they’re domesticated, adorable and make for amazing pets.
Bearded dragons are very gentle and kind, plus easy to maintain making them great pets for families, says Dr. Randi Haberkorn, a veterinarian at Meadow Veterinary Hospital in White Plains, New York. However, squeamish beware they do require live food (crickets and worms). Additionally, bearded dragons can be very entertaining pets to watch as they need to be housed in a glass terrarium. It’s also worth mentioning that those terrariums need to be temperature controlled, but usually this can be achieved with a simple heat lamp.
If you love small furry animals, guinea pigs might be for you. They are gentle and easy to care for, however they require daily human attention and thrive if they have a second guinea pig buddy since they are herd animals. Their diet consists of hay, fresh veggies and pellets.
Another popular furry choice, rabbits make great pets, but like guinea pigs, need attention. Rabbits live on average 10 years, so make sure everyone in the home is on the same page before taking on this commitment.
Fish make great pets, but it’s important to do research so you provide your new scaly friends with the right environment and a happy life. Items to look into include water temperature, food, filters, aquarium size and other care tips.
These little birds pack in personality as colorful as their feathers. And they can learn all sorts of songs and words from their human companions.
Parakeets live about 10 years, so make sure you’re ready to commit. They’re very social, too. If they will be left alone for hours at a time, consider getting a second parakeet.
If you can provide the right environment, you’ll find yourself more attached to a rat than you ever thought possible. These little rodents bond with their families and are even smart enough to learn tricks. Plus, they are generally quiet (though active at night) and often stay cleaner than a human child. Speaking of children, Rats may not be the best pet if you have younger children and plan to allow them to play with the Rat. Rats are fragile creatures and a lot of younger children don’t have great control of their motor skills. In this case, allowing such a child to hold the rat could ultimately lead to the child crushing or harming the rat.
Taking Care of Your Pet
Regardless of whether you decide to get a cat, dog, or something a bit more uncommon, It’s extremely important to learn how to properly care for your pet. The pet’s mentioned above often have significantly shorter lives than their species lifespan due to mistreatment, accidents or lack of knowledge. The same information will provide a lot of value with dogs or cats as well. As always, we recommend using Luna Journal to document your pet’s behavior, medications, vaccinations and more.