In most households pets are an essential part of the family, but not all homes and families are suitable for all types of pets.
There is lots of consider before you take that floppy-eared puppy or fluffy kitty home. Each type of pet needs a certain amount of space to roam and play in, need to interact with people differently and have a specific diet.
Pets do not only provide us with companionship but can also be good for your health.
Kids growing up in a home with furry pets have less risk of allergies and asthma. Pets can also help lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety and improve your mood. Some dogs are specifically trained to help people with diabetes by detecting changes in their blood sugar through scent.
Here are a few pets that you can consider if you live in a flat or have a small yard:
Felines are very independent, which makes them easier to care for if you won’t be around for the whole day. While some cats don’t mind staying inside all day, other cats love to roam the neighbourhood and only come back when it’s time for food or a cuddle.
Ensure that your cat is sterilised and gets all its injections to avoid trouble with other cats in the area. If you keep the cat inside, ensure it has lots of toys, a scratching post, a big container for its ‘toilet’ and enough food and water.
Studies have also shown that watching a fish swim for about 10-15 minutes can lower your stress level. Not only do they brighten up a room, they are quite low-maintenance compared to other pets. Visit a pet store for advice on the best type of fish for your water, space and budget.
- Snakes and reptiles
If you like scaly or slithery creatures that don’t need as much attention and contact, this category is for you. These animals do well with being left alone for a long period and they are fairly easy to care for and keep healthy.
Dogs are playful and social animals that can’t wait to play and be with their owners. Larger breeds like Labradors and Golden Retrievers need lots of space to play in and need to be kept busy otherwise they tend to get destructive. If you live in flat or have a small yard, rather look at getting a small dog like a Jack Russel, Yorkie or other terrier or a Chihuahua. Some dogs need to have friends, while others prefer to be on their own.
- Small and furry pets
Rabbits, chinchillas and hamsters don’t need lots of space but are cuddlier than reptiles and fish. They also don’t need loads of attention. Make sure you research what each breed needs and if you can provide it before deciding on which animal to get.
Once you’ve decided on a pet, ensure that you find out exactly what it needs and what you should avoid to keep it healthy and happy.
Feed it the best kind of food that you can and make sure you know which foods to avoid. Don’t let your pet snack on human food, unless it is permitted by a veterinarian.
Make sure it has a dedicated sleeping space and clean the bed, enclosure or tank regularly. If your pet is not adapting well to the new environment, visit a vet for advice. It is also advisable to consult a vet regarding your pet’s vaccinations, sterilisation and any allergic reaction they might have.