Most people choose a pet because of some imagined emotional attachment without thinking about the longterm consequences of that choice for them or the animal. The kind of pet you have should be governed by the time and money you have to care for it. Some pets require very little physical attention or special enclosures, but people with busy schedules should know that most domesticated animals which people keep as pets do require a significant amount of social interaction. If you do not spend enough time with a pet like a dog or cat, expect them to register their dissatisfaction with destructive or negative behavior like jumping, biting, scratching and destroying an owner’s personal property.
Reptiles have become wildly popular as pets because they tend to live a long time, are smart and capture the imagination of people. These creatures generally do not require much space, learn quickly and some are even able to recognize their owners by voice, sight and smell. However, reptiles also often escape their confines and many require special lighting, care or diets. Most reptile enclosures, lights and the other things they need for survival cost a lot more than the pet itself. For example, a proper Iguana set up can cost a new owner as much as $500 to $800 dollars!
Tortoises, turtles, large snakes, crocodiles and alligators are kept by some people as pets. Most of these creatures are not good choices and represent some kind of a real threat to people in terms of health concerns or aggressive predator behavior. If you are a reptile enthusiast and still want one, try a bearded dragon, leopard gecko or blue tongued skink. These creatures will not be as easy to keep and care for as a dog or cat, but they will not empty your wallet as fast as other pet reptiles will and are unlikely to attack or eat their owners.
If you just love snakes and have to have one, try the corn snake, king snake, gopher snake or ball python. These non-venomous snakes will fulfill your desire to see snakes in action without being any real threat or costing you too much money for their habitat. Of course there is always that thing about them eating rodents as food, so if you have a weak stomach or are a vegetarian, perhaps you should buy some sea monkeys?
In case you suddenly feel the need to get back to nature and decide to adopt a bear from any local population that might live in your area, you should know that you are doing that animal, yourself and the neighborhood a major disservice. Bears are wild and dangerous predators which often behave in an unpredictable manner when confronted by people. One day they might seen docile and even friendly, the next you are on their possible food source or perceived enemy list. Do not even think or feeding or befriending these creatures.
Big cats have become popular as pets, although I think you have to have a lot of non-functioning brain cells to even try to adopt or own one. Despite the danger, people still insist on having these animals around. Some even pretend to operate a big cat rescue center just to get their hands on one. Bad idea. So are owning Coatis or Kinkajous (members of the raccoon family). They are cute, but need lots of space and love to bite their owners with some seriously sharp teeth.
For those who think that foxes, coyotes, wolves or wolf and dog hybrids are cool to own as pets, here is a news flash: They are not! These animals are seriously undomesticated predators which have reputations for turning on and attacking their owners. They need tons of space and are very territorial. When they get upset because their environment is not what it should be, they do and will lash out at whatever person or other animal they can attack to register their displeasure. If you want a truly exotic pet, take my earlier suggestion and get some sea monkeys. Leave the dangerous animals to the experts and make your pet choice with your brain, not some misguided emotional need to own or hoard animals.
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