Choosing A Pet

Do you know that in the United States pets outnumber people? Recent statistics show that there are about 380 million pets opposed to 290 million people? 62 % of the households own a pet, and 46% of all households own more than one pet.

The first three categories are cats (78 million), dogs (65 million), and birds (18 million). Also popular are fish and small animals but their number is far behind the numbers of cats and dogs.

More and more people are buying pets because they realise the great advantages of having a pet, a pet is a great companion, a loyal friend and a part of the family. Since a pet has such an important role to play in your life it is important thinking hard to pick the right pet for you.

Careful research before allowing the new member in can save a lot of frustration later. If you and your pet are not compatible, your coexistence will not be peaceful and eventually you may have to expel the poor creature, because it is you, who made the wrong judgment.

If you are choosing a pet the real choice you are probably making is whether to get a dog or a cat, perhaps you are considering a pet that requires less effort such as a fish or bird also. If you decide to opt for a dog you must then choose what breed of dog toget, with over 150 breeds you are spoiled for choice!

Generally dogs are more loyal companions than cats but they also demand more care and attention, while cats often prefer to have moments of their own. Cats are more independent and they usually feel affection for the home, rather than the people, with whom they live.

You will need to carefully consider how much space you have, cats and dogd reuire quite a bit of space, so if you live in a small apartment then even a small breed of dog or a cat will feel restricted. If you have very little space perhaps you should go for a bird or fish, or may be a hamster?

Also, dogs cannot be left alone for a long time, so if you live alone and travel often, consider a pet hostel or a neighbor who could take care of the animal, while you are away. Cats also do not like being left alone but at least they do not need walks twice a day.

If you choose a dog you must remember they need to be walked once or twice a day and that they need space in which to live. This is particularly true of large breeds of dog such as St Bernards. Large dogs also eat a lot which must be factored into your costs.

There are many advantages to having a big dog, for one they can be trained to protect you and your home. Smaller dogs, while particularly effective for security, can be a great novelty in the home, particularly with children and the elderly. Small dogs do not need as much space or walks as large dogs either making them particularly suited to the young and old.

Whatever your final decision, the most important thing is to do your homework -- research the facts and consider what will suit you best -- because if it doesn't suit you, your new pet will be unhappy also.

About the Author: Alyssa Hallam is the webmaster of AH Pet Her site has a great collection of information on all different kinds of pets, including a free newsletter, pet resources and articles. For great pet information, go to: