How Do I Choose the Best Family Pet?

Amber Eberle

Many people choose to keep pets in their homes. Popular types of pets include dogs, cats, birds, and fish. Small animals, like hamsters, and a variety of reptiles many also be kept as pets. Before bringing a family pet into your home, there are many issues to take into consideration. The best type of pet for you and your family is usually dependent on how much time you will have to spend with the animal, the amount of space you have in your home for the pet, and how much money you can afford to spend on food, toys, and veterinary care.

Turtles can make good family pets for those who spend a lot of time away from home.
Turtles can make good family pets for those who spend a lot of time away from home.

Some pets can live for many years and many require a lot of time and attention. If you have enough time, a puppy or dog may be a good family pet. These animals must be trained and exercised, and they typically want to spend a lot of social time with their owners. Adult cats do not have the same time requirements that dogs do, but a kitten is similar to a puppy in regard to how much attention it needs. Most birds are social animals that require the company of their owners unless you purchase a companion bird.

Young kittens often need a lot of attention.
Young kittens often need a lot of attention.

If you spend much of your time away from home, you may want to consider fish, a hamster, a turtle, a lizard, or a snake, as a family pet. These animals do not require a great amount of hands-on care or play time. In most cases, these pets mainly require food, and a clean living area.

Dogs often need more attention than adult cats.
Dogs often need more attention than adult cats.

In addition to time, pets require things that cost money. Therefore, your budget may help determine the best type of family pet for your household. You will need to purchase food for any type of pet that you own, and larger animals typically require more food. Veterinarian costs must also be considered. Dogs and cats need vaccinations and regular health care. Conversely, fish, hamsters, and reptiles generally do not require much, if any, vet care, but, upon their purchase, money will have to be spent to buy a tank or cage.

Hamsters don't require a lot of care, but the cage, food, and other supplies will cost money.
Hamsters don't require a lot of care, but the cage, food, and other supplies will cost money.

The size of your home often makes a difference when deciding on a family pet. A large breed of dog usually does best in a home with ample indoor space, as well as a yard. A cat does not require the same space as a big dog, but does need a place to keep its litter box. A small hamster or reptile can be kept in a small cage in the corner of a room, but large birds or snakes will need sizable cages or tanks.

A pet snake.
A pet snake.
Most birds need socializing with their owners.
Most birds need socializing with their owners.
Ferrets are high energy animals and can be entertaining for children.
Ferrets are high energy animals and can be entertaining for children.
Chinchillas are relatively low maintenance pets.
Chinchillas are relatively low maintenance pets.
Some types of pets require more physical activity than others.
Some types of pets require more physical activity than others.
Mice are low maintenance pets that are fairly active.
Mice are low maintenance pets that are fairly active.
A playful dog is a good pet for many children.
A playful dog is a good pet for many children.

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