BIRDS, CATS, DOGS, SMALL ANIMALS?
You may have heard the saying, "You own a dog, and you feed a cat." It's true that cats value their independence a bit more than their canine counterparts. They are certainly more adaptive and more self-sufficient, but if you've ever been around cats, you already know they also crave and require love and companionship just as much as dogs. Then there are others to consider like a hamster, guinea pig, or bird.
Here are some important things to consider about each:
Birds are very interesting creatures. They can mimic sounds and learn how to use tools. They may be able to learn basic commands and even play fetch. They do not require a lot of food, which is great but they do need a lot of consistency. They may cling on to only one family member and become stressed around the others. One of the plus sides with having a bird is that they can live many, many years. But this may also be seen as a downside. As we previously discussed in "Are You Ready to Adopt a Pet", we know that it is important that pet ownership is for a lifetime. If you get a very young bird, and you're no spring chicken, well, chances are it may outlive you. Make sure that you have a plan in play for your birdy so it has a family or sanctuary to carry out the rest of its days with, happy and healthy. Birds are a little tricky, so be sure you have all of the eggspert information you can get with your local sanctuary or aviary.
Kitten or Adult?
As a general rule, kittens are curious, playful, and full of energy, while adult cats are more relaxed and less mischievous. Kittens also require more time to train and feed. When you're choosing a cat, keep your family in mind. Young children usually don't have the maturity to handle kittens responsibly, so a cat who's at least four months old is typically the best choice for homes with kids.
Short-Haired or Long?
Cats can have long, fluffy coats or short, dense fur, and the choice between the two is chiefly a matter of preference, availability, and your willingness to devote time to regular grooming. You'll see more short-haired cats at the shelter since they're the most popular and common cats. Keep in mind that long-haired cats require frequent grooming to be mat-free, but often shed less. Felines with short coats also require brushing, though less frequently. Most cats enjoy a regular brushing and will look forward to this daily ritual with you.
What is the dog’s breed and temperament?
Although an active, bouncy dog might catch your eye, a quieter or more reserved dog might be a better match if you don't have a particularly active lifestyle. Some breeds are very energetic while others are not. Some dogs are extremely affectionate, some are more independent. It's important to find a dog whose temperament matches your needs and lifestyle.
How old is the dog?
You may want to select a younger dog or puppy as your new companion. However, young dogs usually require much more training and supervision than more mature dogs. If you lack the time or patience to housetrain your pup or to correct problems like chewing and jumping, an adult dog may be a better choice.
How good is the animal with children and/or commotion?
Learning about a dog's past through a history sheet or from a staff member can be helpful, but past information isn't always available. In general, an active dog who likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling and noise is a dog who will probably thrive in a house full of kids and or high energy. However, some shelter animals have had past trauma that suddenly resurfaces when around too much commotion, so be sensitive to their needs.
Small animals can make great pets with proper care. Thinking about a new furry family member? Don't rule out a rodent. While they don't live as long as their cat and canine counterparts, guinea pigs, rats and chinchillas can all make for fun family companions. They are perfect for someone living in an apartment or small living space.