If you’re like me, you like the idea of having a pet, but you don’t want it to be one that is forever banished to the outdoors. You want one that can live with you and be somewhat of a friend or companion. Maybe you have kids who have long wanted a pet, or perhaps you are an elderly widow or widower and understand the companionship and healing a beloved pet brings.
There are a number of pets that thrive well indoors, and would be perfect choices. Some of the more popular ones are:
A dog. Duh, like there is any question here. Dogs are probably the single most popular pet in the United States. They are personable, social, loyal, remarkably affectionate, and you have a wide variety of breeds from which to choose. Perhaps more than any other pet, dogs actually desire to have a relationship with their owners, part of what makes being a dog owner so rewarding. Many dogs can also be trained to carry out a variety of tasks, from serving as watchdogs to becoming “eyes” for the blind. Puppies can usually be found for free from a variety of sources, but it is always advised to buy your dog from a breeder who knows their business and has taken the extra steps of correct immunizations and other health related requirements for a given breed.
If dogs are the most popular, cats run a close second. This author is not a big fan of cats, wondering what the point is in having a pet that won’t come when you call it. Others swear by them and insist they are even preferable to dogs. Some cats are playful; others are content to lie around most of the day and sleep. Cats may need to be declawed, if you value your carpet and furniture anyway, and will require a litter box, either self-cleaning or one that you are willing to clean on a regular basis. If the idea of a pet that is your pet when they deem it appropriate, then a cat is definitely for you.
Rodents of various sizes and shapes can be the perfect pet, especially for those living in smaller domiciles such as apartments. This author grew up with hamsters, which were much more handsome alternatives to mice or rats since they didn’t possess the long, naked tail so characteristic of most rodents. Hamsters also tend to be a bit more social than mice and rats, less likely to bite, etc. In addition, ferrets are easily the most amusing and social of all rodent species. Much larger, they require space to be able to roam. As mentioned, they are social animals, so they are not ones that you can leave unattended for long periods.
Reptiles are another popular choice, from lizards to snakes, to the more daring individuals who domesticate alligators and boa constrictors. I would heartily suggest the ones that a) you can confine to a cage, and b) that do not possess the ability to make a meal out of you should the notion strike them. New stories abound every year of people dying I their homes and apartments from circumstances more closely associated with the jungle.
Fish are one of the more unique pet choices in that they can also be used as part of your home décor. What room doesn’t look more inviting and cozy than one with an aquarium full of interesting species? Be advised that certain species can be rather expensive, and proper cleaning and maintenance of your tank is required to preserve your investment. However, with proper planning, a well-stocked aquarium can be an interesting and educational addition to your home or apartment.
Birds are last on the list, because while they are beautiful, intelligent, and entertaining, this author feels that it is an incredible disservice to keep them caged up for most of their lives. You should also be aware that birds may live as long as twenty years or more, so be prepared for a long term commitment before you make your purchase.
Whichever pet you choose, be aware that you are assuming a responsibility for that pet’s welfare and good health. Don’t commit unless you are ready for such a responsibility. Properly treated and cared for, a pet can provide years of companionship, security, and fulfillment.