Choosing a Pet

Firstly, let’s take a look at the different types of pets available.


These are the most common types of pets available. They have consistently been kept in captivity for a very long time so that they exhibit marked differences in behaviour and appearance from their wild relatives.


These are often kept as pets. When saying ‘wild’, I mean the species has not undergone fundamental change in characteristics or behaviour to allow them to live with us, like insects, reptiles and fish. They are usually kept as a hobby, rather than for companionship.


Firstly, choosing a pet should be a family concern, with everybody’s needs, fears, and sometimes allergies considered. The family should decide together what kind of animal they would like to keep, and also the amount of responsibility each person in the family will take on. The family need to be realistic and understand that promises from children may not always be kept. The goal is to find an animal that will suit your living space, lifestyle, personality and budget. This should not be a rash decision!! The following questions will need to be answered.


  • Do you have the space for a pet?
  • What activities does the family like to do? And Does the animal fit in with that.
  • Do you need to think about whether there is anyone to look after the animal if you’re not able to?
  • How do you spend the day?
  • Do you have sufficient time to spend with it, for daily interaction and exercise?
  • All animals need daily attention. Is everybody in the household at work or school all day? Do you have enough free time to care for the pet?
  • Do you already have other pets in the house, how will they feel about another pet, and will they be compatible?
  • How much will the pet cost?
  • The price of pets varies hugely. One also needs to think about the price of food, shelter and visits to the vets, grooming parlours or boarding facilities.
  • It is highly recommended and a must that pets are bought in two’s, they need animal interaction and communication even more than they need human contact! This does not means that Pets then don’t need human interaction and communication anymore, another pet is not a replacement for human responsibilities and interactions.
  • I would also like to add that NO Animal should be caged purely for human pleasure, amusement or companionship! It is inhumane and we need to change our outlook on this drastically.



It is a good idea to ask somebody else whether they think that a particular pet is a good idea for you, for example, a friend. Before the pet is bought, the person with the main responsibility for the animal needs to research and learn as much as they can about the husbandry of keeping the animal. They can do this by going to the library, researching on the Internet. Be flexible with your choices. It is often the case that your first choice of pet is not necessarily the right pet for you; therefore you have to do your homework properly! If the above factors are not possible, one should rather not consider buying a pet. You may find that a pet doesn’t fit into your lifestyle. But you can still enjoy animals. You may want to feed wild birds outside your window or volunteer at a rescue organisation. You could always consider a pet again in the future when your circumstances change.

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