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Pets you can keep other than dogs and cats

Readers Lounge - By Derrick Oluoch
There are several animals you can keep as pets if you are not into cats and dogs (Shutterstock)

There are several other animals you can keep as pets other than dogs and cats. However, different animals have different dietary and space requirements but they all have something on common: they all need care, attention and love.

If dogs and cats are not exotic enough for your character and lifestyle, you can always get other pets like rabbits or fish. If you literally want to be able to talk with your pet, why not consider adopting a parakeet.

Looking after a house friend that is of a different species is quite a huge responsibility but it shouldn’t be a burden. There are several alternatives to dogs and cats and all you need to do is go for one that best suits your lifestyle.

For instance, if your commitments don’t allow you the time you need everyday to walk your dog, you can go for a different pet that doesn’t require regularly walking like a chinchilla – a naturally clean animal that entertains just as much and loves to play.

Deciding what kind of pet to keep may not be a simple task. Some options may seem quite unusual while others can be outright dangerous; some easy to find and others may require a permit. Here, we look at some animals you can adopt that are equally fun to have around the house like dogs and cats:

  • Fish

Fish are basically the easiest animals to care for compared to those in this list. Nonetheless, you need to keep your fish healthy in an aquarium and this requires, time, effort and care.

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You need to regularly clean the tank and maintain a given water PH and temperature as needed by the fish species you are keeping for them to survive and stay healthy. The most common fish include goldfish and angel fish.

Fish need to be fed carefully and only once a day as overfeeding them can be fatal.

  • Guinea pig

If you are into furry animals, guinea pigs are a good alternative. They are gentle and easy to care for and are quite friendly and intelligent.

While they require daily human attention, they can be kept either indoors or out. They are highly sociable and require a second guinea pig buddy as they are herd animals. They can live up to seven years.

To keep them, you will need a large enclosure that has a private and covered sleeping area as they are sensitive to sound and weather changes.

Guinea pigs are fed on fruits and fresh vegetables.

  • Rabbit

Rabbits are also a popular furry choice. They are affectionate and rewarding pets.

To keep them, you will need to accord them some special care and attention including building them a big home where they can hop about and also providing them with playmates.

While they can be kept in smaller cages, they are known to be quite irritable and bad-tempered when kept in cages.

You can feed your rabbits on grass or hay with a few vegetables.

  • Parakeets

Parakeets, a pecies of parrots, are excellent pets and are quite colourful – both in personality and appearance.

These little birds are capable of learning songs and words which they then mimic.

Perfect for even children, parakeets are very gentle, social and easy to handle.

They live up to about ten years thus before adopting one you need to be ready to commit.

If your pet is to be left at home alone for long hours, you may need to consider getting a second parakeet.

  • Chinchilla

Chinchillas are not widely kept as pets. Nevertheless, they are quite, clean and cute. These cute shy rodents act more like squirrels and they are very friendly. They are also very low-maintenance and provide a good alternative to the other demanding pets.

Chinchillas have one of the longest life spans for rodents as they can live 12 to 20 years.

They can be fed on grass hay along with pellets made for chinchillas. You can also give them twigs from safe trees, like apple trees, as treats once in a while.

  • Chipmunk

Despite being high maintenance animals and not recommended for children, chipmunks are quite rewarding and entertaining as pets. They need large enclosures so that they can maintain their active lifestyle.

Chipmunks feed on a variety of foods including nuts, berries, insects and cereal. At times they can also feed on fresh vegetables.

Tips for choosing the right pet

Before you decide to keep a pet, PetMD recommends that you consider asking yourself a number of questions including:

  • Can you commit to caring for the pet for its lifespan?
  • Can you provide the pet with the proper environment it needs?
  • Does the pet realistically fit into your family?
  • Do you have or can you access a vet and can you afford the bills?

Another tip is to not buy a pet as a holiday or birthday gift not unless you have thought it through and you are prepared to look after it as the novelty of the pet wears off and you will have to deal with the responsibility of taking care of it.

The kind of pet you end up should perfectly much you personality and your level of tolerance and patience. You shouldn’t feel trapped by your pet so go for one that you can readily care for.


Keeping Pets Pet Owner Pets

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