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May-30-2018 09:47printcomments

Choosing the Right New Pet

A pet has its pros and cons, so look before you leap!

guinea pig
Guinea pigs as a pet can be a lot of fun for all ages.

(SALEM, Ore.) - If you’ve ever thought of bringing a new pet into your household, you should think twice before making your final decision.

Not all species are so easy to take care of, and since this is a decision that comes with a commitment, we’ll make a list of those you might find more convenient and comfortable to interact with.

First off, dogs might be out of the question if you do not have enough space to give them to run around and get the exercise they need. Too often, people keep large dog breeds in small spaces like crowded apartments, and that’s unhealthy for the animal for a variety of reasons.

A dog needs to be able to roam around, smell new and fresh surroundings, interact with other creatures, and run and have as much fun as possible.

Without further ado, here are several suggestions if you’re looking to adopt a new pet for your children.

Consider small rodents

While rabbits might be a bit challenging to care for because they’re bigger, need to eat more, and can be affected by several diseases, it’s way easier to care for a hamster, a gerbil, or a pet rat. One thing we do have to make clear, though.

Pet rats can only make good pets if they are trained from when they were very young. If they were not, they can be quite aggressive and can end up biting the person handling them.

Hamsters and gerbils are frail and petite, and they require little to nothing in terms of the effort you’ll need to make to get their enclosures cleaned or to feed them. Guinea pigs are a little more high-maintenance than that, but they’re still manageable.

What about a turtle?

Turtles are convenient, easy to interact with and make very little mess. Besides, they eat just a little food, and they are quite gentle. However, they are a little trickier to take care of, and that’s because they need a tank where you’ve installed a UVB light and ensured that a basking spot is available for when the animal needs to get warm.

It’s important to check the laws in your area regarding turtles before you invest. For instance, in Oregon, red-eared sliders are not indigenous, therefore they are a threat to other turtles if they ever get together. They cannot be released into ponds etc, because they will kill the local turtle species.

Reptiles are cold-blooded, so that’s why they need heat from external sources. Some snakes (especially constrictors) might not make good options for children especially, and that’s because they can be quite dangerous. There have been cases where even their owners were strangled to death, and so it makes no sense to take that risk.

What about birds?

You should first do your best at finding out whether your child is genuinely interested in birds or not. They can be more or less sociable depending on their species. Of course, a canary or a parakeet can be a great alternative for someone who doesn’t have too much space available.

However, bigger birds such as the Congo Grey Parrot for example, or even smaller to medium-sized birds like conures, do need a bit more space. In fact, large breeds need a lot of room to be comfortable, so the cage has to be proportional to their bodies.

It’s pretty easy to care for birds, though, and they’re gentle, sweet, and rarely cause any trouble. Do your research before deciding on a specific type of bird, though.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.