Furry Friends – What Pet Should You Choose For Your Home?

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Just moved and settled into a new home and/or wanting some more company? Though many Western societies have seen changes in their social demographics and living standards, one thing has remained relatively constant: the value they place on having pets.

But when it comes to pets, which one should you choose for your home? Of course, this will highly depend on your individual factors, such as the size of your home, children, potential allergies, availability, and so on. Nonetheless, here is a guide to help you come closer to a decision for yourself.

Creatures of the sea

When talking about pets, let’s start at the most basic. Why goldfish? Because they won’t run away from home and force you put up “Lost Fish” posters around the neighbourhood, of course!

On a more serious note, fish are generally a less pricey pet to own, require much less day-to-day handling, and are easy to manage when you go away.

However, you should remember that fish are not invincible, and failure to feed, overfeeding, or not cleaning the tank properly will result in suffering and potentially dying fish. But if your children are begging for a pet and you’re lacking in space and time, fish are an excellent choice for your home.

Man’s best friend

Of course, the household pet that exceeds the goldfish in popularity is no doubt man’s best friend, the dog. Dogs are popular for an endless number of reasons, not limited to the fact that they can be trained, can protect your home, and are generally thought of as a smart animal.

However, if you have very young children, it’s wise to reconsider buying a new dog given that dogs take time to settle and may unintentionally scratch or bite your little ones. Owning a dog is also a much more intense commitment with regular meals and exercise as absolute necessities – also, don’t forget the need to dog-proof your home.

That other best friend

If you’re not fond of an over-excited dog pouncing on you every time you enter your home, consider a more placid option of the dog’s worst enemy: the cat. Common reasons for owning a cat are that they clean themselves, don’t require a daily walk, and do perfectly well in smaller spaces like apartments.

On the downside, cats are known to shed fur like crazy and thus are a poor choice for those who like to keep their floors (and clothes) spotless. Moreover, cats have gained quite a reputation for scratching and shredding their owner’s items to pieces, and thus cat scratching posts are definitely a necessary item for cat owners.

The one that ran off

Which animal was the one that ran off? The rabbit (or hare) of course! Rabbits are gaining increasingly popularity in the family home due to their many different sizes, shapes, and breeds, the relatively cheap cost of owning them, and the fact that they take up very little space in their cage.

However, rabbits aren’t as social and active as some other creatures, and you certainly can’t take them for a walk with your neighbors. Rabbits are also known for being destructive at times, whether of electrical cords, furniture, or books – not the best for a family living in an environmental community, that’s for sure! Nonetheless, with proper care, rabbits are an excellent choice of pet for your home.

The one in the corner of the room

Whether you live in the wide, open spaces of Stockland’s Mt Aitken or a tiny unit downtown, a bird is another fine choice of pet for your home. Like rabbits, birds are becoming increasingly popular as pets. Birds are intelligent, relatively easy to take care of, inexpensive to feed, and suitable for rental properties.

However, some bird species will require daily exercise, interaction, and time out of their cages. If you are someone easily frightened by the prospect of birds flying out of your control around your house, think twice about having a bird. Birds are also known to bite and thus not as suitable if you have young children. Plus, the biggest consideration is that birds can chirp – and sometimes a lot! If you want a quiet home to relax in, owning a bird may not be the right choice for you.

Priscilla Chan is a university student and freelance writer. She’s only ever owned goldfish before, but would love to have a more exciting pet one day when she’s living somewhere like the Stockland community in Mt Aitken.


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What Others Have Said:

  1. Mitzi Fisher says:

    I have had so many animals and I have tried to take some needy animals. I understand how important it is to be sure :) I really enjoyed your blog :)

  2. A great post that more people should read, pets are like children-even the fish :), they require a lot of time, attention, and care. They all have their good and bad points, but if you cannot commit to walking, grooming, tank/cage cleaning, and most importantly spending time with them than maybe you aren’t ready for a pet. Thank you for the pros and cons of each type of pet!

  3. We have several cats, but we’d really like to get a dog soon.

  4. This is a great post and I will keep all of this in mind if I am ever in the market for another pet. Thanks for the wonderful post and for sharing this. You are the best.

  5. Anne Consolacion says:

    Those are adorable animals. I’ve had them all growing up. I was the one who mostly took care of them. I cleaned the cages/tanks/bed, fed them, I watched for signs of distress, bolted upright in bed and investigated after hearing suspicious noises or cries from them… almost died crying when a pet died or had gone missing (stolen! rabbits, cats, and dogs get stolen here). Pets give out so much happiness, even the ones that seems to want nothing to do with you. I guess they even warmed me up to being a mom.

  6. Alison King says:

    Great post breaking down the pros and cons. I don’t think there’s such a thing as an easy pet to own, and people need to consider the companionship, medical care, and needs of each pet. Regardless of the pet, the entire family needs to be on board about the responsibility of pet ownership.

  7. Bonnie C. says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! There are so many factors to take into consideration when getting a pet, like the ones you pointed out, but a lot of time I feel like people choose pets based on things like what they’re friends have, what’s “trendy”, etc., instead of what’s best for the family, and especially what’s best for the animal.

  8. Heather Diotte says:

    I have always had dogs, and love them all to the moon and back! If hubby would let me, I would populate our house and yard with them!

  9. Maria Iemma says:

    Right now we are discussing getting a puppy. We are going to go to the pound and see what is available. I want a small breed and the kids want a German Shephard/mix. It is a big responsibility for the family to be responsible for the health and well being of a pet and we have had long discussions onthis.

  10. I have a dog and she is my best friend. Her name is Prada and she is a pit bull mix. She is the sweetest dog ever!!! I did also have fish but they keep dying on me.

  11. Great post for those who are unsure what pet to include as their family. We are huge cat people and have 4 of them. We also adore dogs and birds.

  12. April Farley says:

    Personally I have never set out to get a pet. In our life a creature in need always pops up and we take it in. Not including a cool fish that we won @ a fair. That thing lived 10 years! It was a Beta. Who knew they could live so long!?
    I am a big advocate of getting a pet from a local shelter. If your ready to make the commitment to a furry family member that’s the way to go. So many helpless innocents are put down every day in the USA. IT is tragic in my opinion. I did read some time ago that sharing your home with a 4 legged furry family member actually adds years onto your life. Not to mention enriching your life with unconditional love.

  13. I have nothing against pets. It’s the owners that get me angry. Around here everyone has dogs. They leave them outside 24-7. These poor things bark at every sound. They roam the neighborhood and mess on peoples yards If a person wants any animal, take care of it!

  14. Loved it. Most people just go out and see a cute puppy and get it without researching if it’s actually a good fit for their family. Must read for all looking to add a new family member.

  15. My family and I are debating getting a pet. We’ve been going over the pros and cons to narrow down if the timing is right and if it is, what kind of pet is appropriate for us right now. This article certainly helps in giving a run-down of the kind of pet best suited for a family and home depending on circumstances.

  16. Linda Manns says:

    These are all good suggestions for pets. My preference is a dog. My second choice would be a cat. Thank you for sharing this

  17. I’ve always been a cat person. They’re not much work, no walks… I’ve grown up with dogs and like them too but for me I’ll take a cat any day.

  18. Totally agree! When our kids were small and we had a big house, we had big dogs. Now that we live apartment style, we have small dogs!

  19. cheryl lister says:

    Having had both a cat and a dog, my hands-down favorite pet (between those 2) would be the dog. Truly man’s best friend, while a cat thinks more of itself.

  20. linda moore says:

    We did a lot of study and searching when we got our standard poodle and would love to have another sometime! she is the best dog we ever had! the search and waiting was the best thing ever! We would never give her up. She is a big part of our family!

  21. So we have everything in my house! We have one dog (a basset hound) two cats and in the fish tank is 2 African dwarf frogs, one sucking small cat fish thing, a beta fish (did you know they can share a tank with other creaters that are not “pretty” haha) two snails and a sucker fish :)

    This is awesome advice!

    We got our puppy after a lot of research and you are right having her grow up with my youngest was the way to go! After much research we decided on a basset hound because there is not a bad word about them, they are loyal and lazy so if you can’t walk them because you are running after a toddler that’s ok they will sleep anyway HAHA

  22. ilaria carraro says:

    i’d love to have a very furry animal ah home, but i have a cat that’s so nice!

  23. DEBRA GIFFORD says:

    I believe owning a dog is great for young children! My children had pets and when they were teenagers, a stray Rottweiler wandered into our yard one morning as I was leaving for work and he scared me. He was starving but when I arrived home, my children had brought him in. I was still afraid because he was a Rottweiler. My children begged me and I gave in. Bear turned out to be the best dog we ever had; all he wanted was to be loved. I am so thankful I allowed them to keep him! He was several years old when he wandered up to us but we got to love him and be loved by him for eight years. My next dog was a YorkiePoo that I had to leave behind because he belonged too him and I grieved until I got another YorkiePoo that was 8 months old-mistreated and with a broken leg that had healed and not taken to a vet at the time. I know because he had a limp and I had t x-rayed. He is the most loving dog ever!

  24. Linda Seal says:

    I love my little wiener dog. He is so sweet.

  25. Dianna Davis says:

    lol– this list really made me laugh– I love it. For our family we have 3 furbabies–(doggies) and thats more than enough for me to take care of.Thanks so much for your post.. I have never tried walking any of the rabbits we had, I can just see that.

  26. I definitely think this is important. I work with a rescue and many times we have homes surrender their dogs because they either adopted or purchased their dogs before doing any research, which is a shame because most of the dogs are great companions.