A pet is an animal companion or friend and basically, an integral part of most households. Different people favor different animals, some are dog people, some are cat lovers, some like horses, to each his own. But which animals are most popular? Check out the round-up of the 10 most popular pets, of which certain members may shock you, while others are all-time favorites.
Top 10 Most Popular Pets
Easily the most popular pet in the U.S.A. Singles, the elderly, families and children, in short whatever your living style, a canine seems to be the pet of choice. Loyal, loving and caring with a silly and playful side, dogs are man's best friend. When you are down and in need of cheering up, they are always there for you, silent but understanding, head resting on your knee. Their antics like tail chasing and crawling on their bellies can make even the most jaded of people, smile and laugh. And who can resist a look from their big, brown eyes gazing soulfully at you, especially at the dinner table.
Their need for walks and exercise keeps their owners fit as well. With young and older children, dogs make excellent playtime companions. Every young boy should have a dog trailing after him. Their tender nature makes most dogs extremely tolerant towards toddlers and small kids, typical behavior like tail and ear tugging.
Cats can be the most confusing and individualistic of all animals. One minute, they are all over you, meowing and begging for your touch, the next minute, tail in the air, they stride off. Some of their mannerisms are highly amusing like chasing string or sleeping on the TV. Another way that cats assert themselves is bringing something they killed outside, inside the house and displaying it with pride, right next to that expensive bowl of kitty food that you have bought.
Such personal traits and manners make cats very popular household pets. Their independent nature makes them very low maintenance and unlike dogs, they aren't so vocal about everything. They can alternately act all snobby or very friendly with guests and children. Cat lovers and owners will agree, that with the feline animal, life is just one whim at a time. Also, there's no sound as loving as a cat's deep purring and no feeling as soft as a cat's thick fur.
From parrots and talking birds to colorful small species in a cage, birds of all species, sizes and colors make excellent pets. They may not be as physical in showing their love as dogs and cats but birds are highly intelligent and can grow attached to their owners. The best bird species to own are parrots.
Keeping fish in an aquarium or fish tank is another popular pet choice. Fish are not the most expressive or companionable of animals. You can't stroke or pet fish or take them out of their tank and play with them, but their swimming around in a tank, the deep blue of the water, all this gives you a sort of pleasure as well as adds to your house's ambiance. Cleaning and tank maintenance as well as feeding, are important tasks in taking care of fish. Exotic breeds like Chinese fighting fish or piranhas are prized. Even the simple goldfish is a thrilling aquatic pet to own.
5. Guinea Pigs and Hamsters
Now they may both look similar and are often confused as the same thing. But these hairy members of the rodent family are among the top popular family pets, especially those with kids in the 3rd, 4rth and 5th grade. Guinea pigs or hamsters are kept in a cage, with a wheel and feeding apparatus. Such small-sized pets are ideal tools to teaching children, how to be responsible for something else.
These are easily the most popular pets for young girls and families with small children. Rabbits, all soft and furry with their sniffling noses may not do much but if you have a yard, you can let them out of their hutch for some time and watch them play. Getting a pair of rabbits is an invitation for rabbit babies as rabbits breed a lot and alarmingly fast too!
Ferrets are a slightly different or weird choice in pets due to their rather hyperactive nature and a tendency to nibble through anything. But ferret owners swear by their mischievous antics that would crack anyone up and their inquisitive nature, which makes them a pleasure to own. But care should be taken with such pets around young children as ferrets can bite or lunge.
8. Turtles and Tortoises
Slow and steady reptiles ranging in shape and size. Tortoises are land reptiles and will require a small pond and outdoor area fenced in to hold them. Turtles are primarily water-based, hence they require a full-sized aquarium or tank. These reptiles make great low maintenance pets, requiring just feed and clean living space and live for many years. They are an extremely popular pet choice among young boys. Even though they can't do any tricks or show a lot of affection, turtles and tortoises can get attached to their owners.
A snake as a pet is every mom's nightmare. But snakes are also highly popular pets. What's not to like about them? They are exceedingly low maintenance as they need to be fed once in a while, they keep to themselves and do not make any noise and they are ideal for scaring the life out of people. From boa constrictors and pythons to little green grass snakes, snakes of all sizes and colors make excellent companions and pets. Just make sure that the snake breed is of the non-poisonous variety, prior to touching someone's pet snake or purchasing one.
OK having a medium-sized scaly lizard may not be your cup of tea but iguanas are definitely one of the top 10 most popular pets in America, especially with teenage boys and young men. They are the ultimate geeky exotic pet, with their all-seeing third eye and scaly skin and tail. They can even change their skin tone to blend into their surroundings and eat insects and small rodents. It's like having a mini-dragon for a companion.
From the above list, it's easy to note the varying sizes and shapes of pets that are well-known and treasured today. In fact, most of the animals aren't all cute and cuddly but rather are unique in their own way. Whatever your preference in a pet, there's no denying their appeal and impact on your everyday life.