A good pet is a girlís best friend, but not every pet is right for you. The best pet for you depends on a lot of things Ė your lifestyle, your home, and your parents. Not to mention you should probably like a particular kind of animal if youíre going to make it a part of your family for the next decade (or day.)
Dogs take up the most time in the pet spotlight simple because they have the cutest clothes. Actually, Iím pretty sure itís because they are the most common pet and are towed along behind celebrities
or carried in their purses. Just once Iíd like to see a pot-bellied pig schlepped along in an A-listís shoulder bag, but I digress.
Dogs are great pets. They are friendly, loving and only slightly neurotic. Smaller dogs tend to be yappy, but are great for cuddling. Larger dogs are comfortable and make you feel nicely protected. Large and medium dogs are also a nice reason to exercise every day. Dogs require a lot of your time, however, as they are social animals and want to spend time with you.
If youíre gone most of the day or donítí have the time or energy to take your dog on a walk, a canine might not be right for you, at least not right now. Dogs are also not very well suited for apartments unless you have a small dog or a very mellow breed that can sit around all day without feeling the need to run wildly around the backyard every few hours.
Cats are an easy pet. Cats are one of the few pets you can leave for days at a time without arranging a pet sitter or boarding. Cats really need only a food bowl, water and litter box. A scratching post and sunny windowsill are nice, but certainly not required. Cats can be social, but many describe them as rather selfish creatures. They are soft and cuddly, but many are rather intolerant of too much affection.
Cats make terrific pets for most homes, however. Some breeds of cat are comfortable indoors all day using the restroom in a litter box. These cats are great for apartments and other small homes. Other cats prefer to spend time outside, but you donít have to have a full yard to accommodate these felines. Cats are agreeable to almost any living condition, but you wonít find many dressed up or taking a stroll through a park.
Itís surprisingly really, that fish are almost as much work as dogs and cats. Fish live in a self contained little world, but that little world has to be cleaned regularly and the larger your tank, the more complicated managing the conditions and cleanliness of the water can be. Granted you can get a goldfish in a bucket with almost no trouble at all, but that simply doesnít have the same relaxation value as a full salt-water tank.
Fish are terrific to watch, but they arenít very cuddly. If youíve never had a pet, a fish is a good place to start. Fish donít require any socialization and you only have to tap food into the bowl once a day. If you have the single goldfish in a bucket without an air source, youíll also have to oxygenate the water, but that takes only minutes.
Start with a single fish to get used to the responsibility of pets. Feed your fish, and keep his tank clean. If you have a goldfish, itís very likely he wonít survive the week, but at least youíll flush him to rest knowing youíve done everything you could on his behalf.
Of course, if youíre not really into shedding, you might simply consider a virtual pet. A virtual pet will let you have anything you want for as long as you want without taking on a commitment for longer than a few minutes. Of course you can keep the pet as long as you want, but youíll never have to pay for boarding when you travel.