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The Definitive Guide to Pets

a bunch of animals around a house with a question mark

What to know before you decide

Pet Personalities: A Less-Than-Serious Guide

Picking a pet is no small decision. Everything from financial and time commitments to the lifespan of a particular type of pet should be considered. Do you travel? Short trips or long trips? How much time do you have for a pet? Can you train the pet? Do you want a unique pet? How much is pet food and which other supplies are needed? Let’s be honest, those little furballs (or scale-balls) have their own agendas that are helpful to understand in answering the questions above. It’s time to break down the pet kingdom by the levels of sass they tend to give their humans.

Category 1: The Prisoners

These are pets that don’t roam without supervision, if possible at all. Mostly, there’s work to take care of these critters but not often the most return in terms of companionship or personality–but not always the case!

  • Fish: These guys couldn’t care less about you. They’re just doing their fishy thing, swimming in circles, and wondering why you keep tapping on their high-security glass prison. Tanks can be pricey but fish food is relatively cheap, just be sure you have someone to feed them if you take off.
  • Hamsters: Okay, hamsters have two modes: 1) Asleep or 2) Running on that wheel like their rent depends on it. There’s a slight chance your hamster dreams of world domination, but mostly they just dream of more seeds.
  • Guinea Pigs: The upgrade from Hamster to Guinea pigs will surely have you in love with the little squeaks, or in frustration once the cuteness wears off. Guinea pigs are an adorable and calm pet suitable for all ages, just be careful will pairing this cuddly companion with other fur friends, like cats.
  • Snakes: If judging stares could kill, you’d be dead a thousand times over. Do yourself a favor, don’t Google “snake yawn”. It’s the stuff of nightmares.
  • Turtles: Rocks with slightly more personality. They live the slow and steady life, probably plotting how to outlive you and be in your will.

Category 2: Your Furry (or Feathery) Roommates

  • Cats: These masters of manipulation have perfected the “I’m starving, feed me now or face my wrath” glare. But hey, they also purr, so at least there’s a tiny bit of love between the disdain. Cats are independent, useful for those weekend jaunts or short trips.
  • Dogs: Unconditional love wrapped in a fur tornado. They’ll love you even when you smell like last night’s bad takeout. The only judgment you’ll get is if you’re late with walkies. Dogs are emotionally dependent on you, be sure your schedule doesn’t have your doggos spending too much alone time.
  • Birds: Depending on the species, they’ll either sing you the songs of their people (sweet!) or mercilessly mock your voice (less sweet, but secretly hilarious). 
  • Rabbits: Floppy cuteness with a surprising side of attitude. Don’t underestimate their ability to thump their disapproval, or even bark!

Category 3: The Wild…and the Wilder

  • Ferrets: Imagine a furry slinky with an endless supply of zoomies. They’re basically toddlers but with more ability to hide your car keys for no apparent reason.
  • Lizards (the fancier kind): Bearded dragons, geckos, etc., bring a touch of the prehistoric to your living room. Cool factor: High. Cleaning their tank factor: Less glamorous.
  • Miniature Pigs: Surprise! Pigs can be house pets. They’re smart, cuddly…and will eat your sofa if given half a chance. Pigs are extremely intelligent and show it in their big, and complex personalities.
  • Exotic Birds: Macaws, parrots, etc., make stunning pets but be warned: Their intelligence rivals that of a human child, and their screeches could shatter glass. Also, be aware of the lifespan of your feathered friend as some can become multi-generational members of the family.
  • Big Cats: While the idea of a pet tiger or lion might seem exotic and alluring, the reality is these big cats cannot be truly domesticated. Their predatory instincts, size, and power make them inherently dangerous, even if raised from cubs. Keeping them in captivity is both cruel and unsafe. These magnificent creatures belong in the wild or in the hands of specialized sanctuaries dedicated to their well-being. If you’re curious about the complexities of this issue, the story of Joe Exotic offers a cautionary tale.

The Verdict

No matter what kind of critter you choose, one thing’s for sure: They’ll always be one step ahead when it comes to the silent judgment Olympics. But hey, in return, you get their unique blend of companionship and amusement – a fair trade in our book.

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