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Benefits of Pets

Animals that make good pets...

Pets are so popular nowadays that almost every household in America has at least one pet. Domestic pets can include dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, fish and more. In past years, chickens, potbelly pigs, tarantulas and donkeys (to name just a few) have become popular choices too.

Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Owning a pet could help you deal with social problems, including rejection and loneliness. Negative feelings can be lessened by simply owning a pet and treating it less like a pet and more like a family member. Older adults who own pets are much less likely to describe themselves as lonely compared to those who don't have a pet, according to a study published in Aging & Mental Health. If you live alone, you might want to consider owning a pet, as the presence of a small dog or cat might be all it takes to give you a new perspective on life.

Benefits of Unusual Pets

You've heard, "dogs are man's best friend." Well that may be true, but did you know that there are other less assuming animals in the world that can offer great benefits to humans?
Potbelly Pigs - Pigs are very affectionate and intelligent. They learn quickly and don't forget, and they are able to "deduce," says Nancy Shepherd, author of Potbellied Pig Parenting. When they learn a behavior, they don't "unlearn" that behavior. Pigs have hair, not fur, so shedding is not a big problem (they shed once a year). Fleas tend to leave pigs alone. And if you already have a cat, pigs and cats get along well together.
Chickens - Chickens are fairly low maintenance. Contrary to some beliefs that they are dirty animals, they're actually not very dirty or smelly if they have enough room to roam around. It's true that you won't receive that same affection from them as a dog or cat, but chickens are sociable animals and need attention from their owners. They will definitely bond with other chickens, as well as humans, so pick them up and snuggle with them once in a while.
Tarantulas - A Tarantula as a pet? Different strokes for different folks, right? And besides, what's wrong with a tarantula if you're the kind of person who's into eight-legged predatory arachnids? After all, it's what our pets do for us as far as giving us a fascinating hobby to enjoy. Tarantulas are quiet, inexpensive to maintain, and don't need a lot of space. Snuggling is not recommended.
Donkeys - Equine animals, being part of the mammal family of Equidae that include horses, zebras, asses, and miniature donkeys. More than 3 million people in the U.S. own equine animals. According to the National Miniature Donkey Association (NMDA), these animals make good pets because they are good with children.
Rabbits - Rabbits have their own personalities. They can be silly, playful and loyal. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers' Association (APPMA), rabbit ownership has increased from 24% to 40% from 1992 to 2000. A word of caution however, children and rabbits don't always mix, as children might have a tendency to carry and cuddle the rabbit too much making the rabbit feel insecure.
Backyard Birds - Yes, a typical backyard bird can qualify as a pet. Some might say it's a bad idea, but we have some suggestions on how to make the best of your wild backyard birds »

Additional Benefits

Most unusual pets don't need much space. Small creatures such as fish, frogs, snakes, mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and parrots can live in small cages or aquariums, making them better choices than dogs if you're living in an apartment or condo. They can offer companionship, and aside from the parrots, most don't make a lot of noise. Dogs need occasional walks, and cats need to roam, however, many unusual and exotic pets don't need any extra space outside of their confinement.

Pets are wonderful!

Pets are gifts from God that were specifically purposed to be companions for mankind. They don't talk back to you, they don't criticize, insult or make fun of you. They might disagree with you when you ask them to "sit," but that's usually just a small misunderstanding. Look at the health benefits that pets offer humans:

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