Keeping pets is strange when you think about it – you get an animal to come and stay in your house with you, you feed it, you give it everything it needs, and you even clean up after it. Yet, since prehistoric times, people have kept pets. What do they get out of it?
People’s reasons for getting pets vary widely, but there are a few main reasons you can identify. Children are often bored and want a pet to play with, while older people can get lonely and want a pet to keep them company.
So which pet is right for you? Well, the pets that people tend to get on with best are the ones that are most like them.
The biggest division is between ‘dog people’ and ‘cat people’, and it’s a definite question of personality. Dogs are loyal creatures that want to depend on you and be taken care of, while cats are more independent, giving affection on their own terms. If you like to give and receive unconditional affection then you should probably get a dog – and if you think what I just said was stupid and sappy, then the chances are you’re more of a cat person.
Of course, there are plenty of other animals to choose from. Birds like budgies, for example, are very playful and interesting, while not requiring you to take on as much responsibility as you would with a dog, for example. If you just want your pet to look nice and not to very much, then you can get tropical fish – a good pet if you’re busy, although hardly the most exciting thing to own.
Finally, if you’re a bit of a quirky sort, then you might consider a more unusual pet. All sorts of strange animals can be kept as pets, from lizards like turtles and snakes to insects like slugs and snails. Little rodents like hamsters are popular, and there are plenty to choose from – ever fancied having a chipmunk? If you get a wild animal licence, you might even be able to keep big zoo animals like tigers and monkeys… scary, I know. Really, the only limit is your imagination.