How to choose the right pet for you
Choosing pet names is important – pet names are the most important decisions in a girl’s life. Vanessa Gray has thought long and hard about buying a puppy. She’ll buy it when her money tin fills up with enough spare change. That should be enough time to think of a name, then…
It is a well-respected belief that money cannot buy happiness: I completely disagree. At home I have a large money tin which in which I’ve been placing all my coins for the past year. When that tin is full, I’m going to take the money out and buy a puppy. I adamantly believe that this will be the happiest day of my life.
However, if you put all your coins in a large money tin until you finally take them out and buy a puppy, it’s vital to remember you’ll be living with this animal for over 10 years. It’s a big decision!
So… what is the right pet for you?
Could your perfect pet be a… dog?
If you want unconditional love and loyalty, a dog is for you. A dog can be your best friend. They’ll make you laugh, smile, and you’ll regail anyone who’ll listen about its hilarious exploits. A dog can, however, be high maintenance. They need room, lots of attention, routine, exercise and most importantly, love. They can also get bored, lonely and depressed – so if you are leaving them alone for the day, give them a big bone, or a toy to keep them occupied.
Choosing the perfect dog:
Be sensible. If your backyard barely has enough room to swing a bat in, don’t buy a Great Dane or Doberman. You must respect your pet more than your needs for a statement animal.
Check out all your local shelters and animal rescue homes. Also, if you have enough space to keep one, check out your local greyhound racing track. There are thousands of retired greyhounds out there that need homes.
If you adopt a dog and have other pets and/or children, make sure the dog will get along with them before you bring them home. Research dog breeds – some are tradionally better with children and pets than others.
Very importantly, make sure there is someone who can look after your dog when you are away. Dogs become lonely and depressed without human companionship.
Could your perfect pet be a… cat?
Cats demand respect. Give them that and they will love you. Withhold respect and they’ll file you as scum of the earth.
Some stray and abandoned cats may have been mistreated and are therefore distrusting of humans. If you rescue a stray, it will take patience and lots of love to get it to respond to you. You may get a few scratches along the way, but remember that this cat may have gone through a horrible time before you met it.
Cats are perfect for those who want a friendly, responsive pet that is not as high maintenance as a dog.
If you are away, they most likely will not need anyone to stay with them because cats are happier than dogs with their own company, but they will need someone to simply check on them and feed them each day.
Could your perfect pet be a… something other?
When looking at other pets, remember to research them carefully. Some pets – like cockatoos and hermit crabs – can actually outlive their owners! Do you really want to be putting your pet in your will?
Rabbits are a popular pet that can soften the hardest of hearts. They’re entertaining, cute, fluffy and the possessors of twitching noses and soft ears – straight out of Disney. They’re not very bright, however, and take some handling to become used to your touch. If you want a more responsive animal, it might be better not to opt for a rabbit. See mooky advice on how to live with a house rabbit if this is something you’d like to explore.
Rats and mice are apparently wonderful pets – especially rats. However, they’re not good at living alone, so you often have to buy them in pairs. Just make sure you take enough precautions to make sure you don’t end up with hundreds of little baby ratties! Check out these mooky tips from a ratty-lover on how to keep pet rats if you’d like to know more.
Birds are lovely, soothing and entertaining. Unfortunately a lot of people treat them as decorations rather than pets. Make sure they have a chance to stretch their wings each day, and have a mansion of a cage. If you’re buying a parrot, let it come into the bathroom with you when you take a very hot bath – parrot owners have found a jaded and forlorn parrot can often cheer up if it shares a humid bathroom with you – perhaps because it reminds the parrot of its jungle home.
Fish can be great pets for first-timers. Just make sure you actually want one and aren’t just buying it on a whim. Research the individual needs of the fish. Is it salt or fresh water? Is it used to temperate or tropical waters? What started off a cheap pet option might escalate in price when you take into account the accessories to keep that water clean and of the correct temperature. Fish tanks are delightful to decorate, though!
Snakes and reptiles sometimes require ownership licenses. Make sure you research this properly. Snakes and lizards are great, low maintenance pets – but you will have to feed them livestock, and you may find it hard to get a pet sitter! Or here’s a sideways idea… how about keeping frogs and toads as pets?
Naming your pet
If you are lucky enough to have found a little friend, you now need to name them. You might have a name in your head already, or one might pop into your head a soon as you lay eyes on your new pet, or you may be completely stumped. Think about your choice logically. You might love the name ‘TrixieBelle Lulu Mcfluffykins’ but it’s not easy to shout across a park. The best names for dogs are short names which are easy to call out and don’t sound ridiculous – although you can still be creative.
Don’t give your pet a ‘joke’ name, how rude! Unless, of course, it’s a really good joke and it suits them.
Take the trouble to name your pet even if it’s just a little goldfish, as this will strengthen the friendship between you and your critter. That shouldn’t be a struggle: People are often obsessed with naming everything they own and giving it a personality, from cars to potted sunflowers.