Great Household Pet Alternatives to Cats and Dogs
Everyone loves cats and dogs - right? As common as they are as pets in the United States, plenty of people have their reasons for not adopting a dog or a cat, even though they want the companionship of a pet. Maybe you or your child have allergies or experienced a trauma that makes you apprehensive of them, or plain and simple, just can’t make the time commitment to a pet that needs lots of attention and engagement. Don’t worry, there are other options! Here are some alternative household pets that can contribute to a happy home environment.
A domestic rabbit can make a great addition to any household. They are very social animals, so it’s vital to his health and happiness that you aren’t going to be leaving your bunny alone for long periods of time without any interaction. He’ll get lonely! Often, if possible, rabbits do well with partners. That said, rabbits do need to have access to their own space, and it’s important not to smother them. Bunnies can be given free rein of the house, but your space must be bunny-proofed in this case, which can include safeguarding cables, wires, fraying threads, and even papers lying around. Otherwise, many owners choose to keep their rabbits in pens or “bunny condos,” allowing them space to move around freely, play, and have exercise without being confined in a tiny cage, which would detract greatly from their quality of life.
A pet snake is a big responsibility, as much as they may seem to take care of themselves. It’s important to make sure you truly have an appropriate home setting to support a snake, which might include keeping them away from small children or other animals. If you do think you have a suitable space for a snake, there are types of all colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from. Some snakes frequently kept as pets, like the Ball Python, can live up to thirty years! As longer-living domestic pets, make sure you’re ready to make a long-term commitment before adopting.
A great pet for households with children, Guinea Pigs are durable, sweet, active creatures that are relatively low-maintenance. They are generally less fragile and skittish than other household pets, and being so small, are easy to clean up after. It’s often best to keep them in a large crate furnished with food and water sources, toys, and exercise wheels. Guinea pigs often live five to seven years, but have been known to live into their teens!
Before adopting, it’s important to make sure you are financially able to support a pet without the risk of having to surrender it later. Adopting a pet is a big commitment, so make sure you do your research and choose the right companion for yourself, your home, and your family the first time!