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By Muhammad Tegar Al Firdausy's Blog

Pets

Minggu, 25 Juli 2010

Pets are animals kept for pleasure and company and they can become important members of the family. Nearly half the households in the UK own at least one pet and research has shown that pet owning can help to soothe stress and tension in adults and encourage a sense of responsibility in children. Some of the most popular pets are domesticated mammals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs, but people also enjoy keeping birds, fish, reptiles such as lizards and snakes, and even insects and spiders. Wild animals should never be captured and kept as pets.

Some pets can also be useful—dogs bark to warn off intruders, while cats catch mice. Birds, such as canaries, provide pleasure with their beautiful songs.

FINDING YOUR PET

Pets usually come from pet shops, breeders or animal rescue organizations. If you are not sure what kind of pet would be best for you, pet shops will give advice or you could talk to your local vet about your needs. It would be unfair to buy a large dog if you live in a small city apartment where the whole family is out all day long and has no time to exercise it. Remember, too, that some pets have long lives. Dogs live for 12 years or more and some cats even longer. Even guinea pigs may live for six or seven years.

BRINGING YOUR PET HOME

Wherever you find your pet, arrange to take it to a vet as soon as possible so its health can be checked and any vaccinations arranged. The vet can also give you advice on care and feeding. If your pet is a cat or dog it may need to be spayed (if female) or neutered (if male)—this will prevent it from reproducing, and will make your animal healthier and easier to live with. Before you bring your pet home, make sure you have all the necessary equipment—food, water bowls and a cage or bedding if necessary. Remember that your pet might be nervous at first, so give it time to settle by itself for a while. If you buy a young animal, this will be the first time it has been away from its mother and it may need gentle attention and comforting.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR PET

Once you have your pet you will need to work out a routine of care and feeding. Some animals, particularly longhaired cats and dogs, need grooming. The homes of caged pets, such as hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs, must be cleaned out regularly if the animal is to stay healthy and happy. A dog needs taking for a walk and all pets need some attention and company every day.

A young dog will also need training if it is to live happily with your family. It has to learn to walk on a lead, come when called and obey commands such as “sit” and “stay”. If you take on an older dog it is never too late to start some training to improve its behaviour!

If you and your family go away you must arrange care for your pet. Never leave an animal alone for more than a day without food, water and attention. If, for some reason, you find you can no longer keep your pet, try to find a good new home—your vet may help—or take it to an animal rescue organization that will try to find a new home for your pet.

POPULAR PETS

Dogs

A dog makes a wonderful companion, but you do have to be prepared to give your animal plenty of attention and exercise it regularly. Different breeds vary greatly in size and character, so think carefully about the type of dog that might be right for you.

Cats

A pet cat is a little easier to care for than a dog. It is more independent and, if you have a garden, can be allowed to go outside by itself. However, cats also need company and regular care if they are to be happy and healthy. Pedigree breeds are much more demanding than ordinary domestic cats.

Caged pets

A small mammal, such as a hamster, mouse, guinea pig or rat, may be an ideal choice if you live in a city apartment and do not have a garden. Some spacious cages are now available that give the animal lots of room to move around.

Fish and reptiles

An aquarium for fish or a heated cage for a lizard can be expensive to set up, but once all the preparations are made these are relatively easy pets to care for and can give a great deal of pleasure.

Birds

Again, the equipment may be costly, but a good cage should last for the bird’s lifetime. Birds make wonderful pets and can become very attached to their owners.

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