Having a companion animal makes life better! Fond memories of childhood pets embrace our thoughts. We certainly want to experience that again — and we want to share that with our children. Of course, it is a really cheerful time. Whether you are 6 or 60, just musing about adding another buddy to the house brings joy, and we become excited “kids” again. Choosing the right pet is a task that requires careful consideration to ensure a great match. Here are a few ideas to guide you through the process.
Furry, finned, feathered or human, they all matter when deciding the type of new addition to the household. Adding a St. Bernard to a home with sensitive cats could lead to trouble. If you have small children or elderly people in your home choosing an active dog could lead to accidents. Some people have allergies limiting selections.
Cross-species compatibility is important. We don’t always have to think that a pet needs to be a cat or a dog. Consider adding a fish tank, small animal (like a hedgehog or a rabbit), birds or herps (frogs, lizards or turtles). You don’t need to live on a farm to think about caring for chickens, other poultry, goats, sheep or rabbits. Check your local zoning to see if you can have livestock in your area.
• For small children, or elderly households, choose rabbits, older cats or dogs. Birds are also a great choice. Fish tanks pose slip hazards and small children must always be watched around the aquarium. Older animals tend to be calmer, but each animal is still an individual. These senior critters are often in need of homes and their life experience makes them extra-special friends. You will always need to monitor small children and pets, as they can inadvertently injure or scare small animals. Sometimes a gentle dog is the best bet for children under 6.
• You won’t want to add a bird, pocket pet or rabbit to your house if you have animals that have strong prey drives.
• Consider choosing breeds or species that are hypo-allergenic. Always think outside the “leash,” adopt a rabbit, bird, gerbil - check to see what rescues are in your area. You will be surprised and you will get great ideas. Humane societies regularly have exotic animals up for adoption.
• Do you live in an apartment, townhouse or a sprawling country acreage? Are there restrictions on what kinds of animals you can keep in your area? Small dogs and cats are more comfortable in a city apartment, but if you work from home and spend time outside you may not have to limit your choice to lap pets!
Jet setter or chair setter? Your work, travel and time schedule will dictate which new animals you can care for. Here are a few guidelines to take into mind.
Let’s get interactive! It’s your turn to write for Chubby. In the comment section tell us which of these pets love Chubby Mealworms? Did we miss someone….add your favorite companion to the list. Do you have a chinchilla, an iguana, a salamander or a clever chameleon? This is the time to share your fun friends with us!