What type of pet should you get?

Savanna F.

Staff Writer

There are many different pets people can have, ranging from dogs to lizards to birds to cats. Each pet has a different maintenance level and a unique personality. With the upsides to having a certain pet, there are also downsides.

Dogs are very popular amongst many pet owners because the animal is empathetic, loyal, and affectionate. Dogs have a “sixth sense,” and they can tell when their owner is sad. Once a dog realizes his owner is upset or in a bad mood, the dog tries his best to cheer up the owner. Social studies teacher Mr. Dan Page says, “The pros of having a dog is the fact it is thrilled to see you when you come home. If you are fighting with your wife, the dog will still love you.”  Though dogs are a ball of happiness with fur, for the most part, they require a plentiful amount of items, including toys, food, treats, bowls, leashes, collars, car seat covers (optional), flea drops, shampoo, etc. Dogs also require a great deal of attention, though this could be taken as either a pro or a con. Some people have the time to give dogs the attention they need, while others do not. As well as needing attention, some dogs are very high maintenance, depending on the breed, like Poodles and Australian Shepards. Ultimately, having a dog is also having a best friend, a companion, and a constant source of entertainment; plus, the owner is never alone and has a BFFF (best furry friend forever) who is always happy to see him or her no matter what.

If dogs are not to one’s liking, cats have always been a source of entertainment ranging from their obsessive box fetish to always sitting in places they should not. Either way, that does not eliminate the fact that they are fun to watch. Cats do all sorts of crazy actions but also can be an excellent pet. They are very low maintenance, unlike a dog. Cats are usually affectionate, though some are quite stuck up. If the owner does not declaw his or her cat, the cat tends to scratch the furniture and destroy all the owners’ belongings. Admirable qualities cats have include being independent and clSF 2eaning themselves; additionally, they do not need to be walked. However, potential problems include the owner having to clean the litter box quite often and dealing with the constant shedding. Cats are a worthy companion for someone who does not have much time to take care of an animal, as cats are fairly independent creatures.

Those who would rather not get clawed by a cat could opt for a bird instead. Many people can see all types of birds in their backyard, but what about having one for a pet? Birds are good company to have if one does not like having small animals running around the house. Like most animals, birds are a lively source of entertainment from training them how to talk to watching them play on swings in a cage. Mr. Page says, “Like any other pet, they are a companion.” They also can be loud, messy, and destructive. Depending on the type, birds are also needy and demanding. Mr. Page states, “They are very sloppy, loud, noisy, and spread stuff around. My brother has a bird that can only mimic two noises: the microwave oven and the telephone. The bird likes to make the telephone noise, and I cannot tell the difference.”  A bird is a favorable fit for someone who has time to take care of one, but also does not want small animals destroying or running around the household.

If one needs a hypoallergenic, calm pet, a reptile would be a potential fit. There are many different types of reptiles that can be pets. Many reptiles, including iguanas, water dragons, and some snakes and tortoises, do not require a mass amount of space. A downside though is they do not bond with humans very well. Sophomore Erin McGhee claims, “In my case, I could carry my bearded dragon on my shoulders. It was like having a small parrot, except it does not bite, most of the time. But it required a lot of care; it also needs a heat lamp. I had to spray it to keep it from getting dry from the heat lamp.” Reptiles also do not smell or make noises. They make a perfect pet for someone who wants a hypoallergenic, noiseless pet.

Some people want pets but do not have the time or money to care for one. A perfect solution is a fish. Art teacher Ms. Lorraine Tesina claims, “For me, I have a goldfish, and the tank is easy to clean. You also don’t get emotionally attached, and if the fish dies, I just get another one. The only problem is that some are jumpers; I had one once, and I came home, and the fish jumped out of the bowl and onto the floor.” Some fish are loads of work, like saltwater fish, but some need little maintenance, like Ms. Tesina’s goldfish. Fish are easy to take care of, very affordable, and can add interest to a room.

Even though all pets have cons, they also have many pros make up for it. There are pets for all types of people and all types of preferences, and taking the time to find the right pet is all worth it.

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