The Trendy Truth: Is Having Pets as Paw-some as You Think?

So, you want to get a pet. The first thing you should know is that having a pet is amazing. But, it’s also a lot of work, time, and money. Every pet, no matter what kind, needs a lot of love, attention, and care. If you can handle it, it’s totally worth it! Having an animal run to you when you walk in the door or curl up next to you when you’re relaxing is the best feeling ever! However, having a pet is not just simply putting food and water in a bowl. Different types of pets need different types of care, both physical and emotional. I’ve had experience dealing with a dog, a rabbit, and a crested gecko, and I’m here to tell you what it’s really like to have these animals as pets and the work it takes to keep them happy.

Credit: Jillian Degrandt

 

Dogs. Nearly everyone can agree that dogs are one of the cutest animals on earth. Pictured above is my dog, Logan, whom I love to death. Even though he is almost thirteen, he is still a puppy to me. Having a dog is basically like having another member of the family, but a member who begs for food, poops in your yard, and follows you around constantly. A dog truly is a man’s best friend, but that title is not just given; it is earned. There is a lot of care that needs to go in to owning a dog, but the relationship you develop with your dog is totally worth the effort.

 

First up, basic care. Obviously, dogs need food and water and exercise to stay healthy. My dog is given food and a fresh bowl of water every morning and night, and sometimes a few human snacks throughout the day. Who can say no to that face? He is also taken to the groomer’s about once every six weeks to get a “haircut”. Aside from the groomer’s, he has to be given baths every once in a while, especially when he rolls in mud or, um, other ~unpleasant~ smelling things. Dogs need to get annual shots, be trained in obedience and behavior, and, of course, potty trained. If you start with a puppy, he or she isn’t magically a well-behaved little angel; a lot of work needs to go in to making your dog well-trained and healthy. Plus, don’t forget that food, toys, treats, vet appointments, and going to the groomer’s are not free for dog owners.

 

Eating and staying hydrated may be what makes a dog survive, but what really makes a dog live is love. They need the type of care that makes them feel cared for and happy, and that requires a lot of attention. I always know when my dog is asking for more attention because he’ll stare at me until I start petting him. Dogs have their own little language to communicate with their owners, most of which involves just staring at you for a while. Getting to learn the meaning of the different stares takes time, but it’s an important part of learning to take care of your lovable fur ball. You need to set time aside from your day to take your dog for a walk, play fetch, or even just cuddle.

Credit: Daily Cuteness

 

Next, I’m going to talk about rabbits. I had an adorable brown and white Mini Rex rabbit named Coco who, sadly, passed away about a month ago. Now, most people wouldn’t think of a rabbit as a type of pet that runs around the house like a dog, but that’s exactly what Coco did! My family and I bought her when she was about 2 years old. At first, we had her living in our mudroom in her little hutch. We started letting her run around the living room every once in a while, and if she pooped or peed we put her back in her hutch. After a while, she just learned to go back to her hutch if she needed to go. Eventually we just left the hutch door open and she came and went as she pleased. She would run around our feet like a puppy and curl up next to us; she would even lick your toes if you sat there long enough. It was basically like having another dog in the house! We didn’t think that a bunny could be litter trained, but it’s possible!

 

Aside from love and litter training, bunnies need basic care just like any other animal. We gave Coco fresh pellets, hay, water, and lettuce daily, and we also put little chewing toys, like colored blocks of wood, in her hutch for her to play with. Cleaning a bunny’s cage is also essential; it gets really gross and really smelly. That’s a weekly chore. Owning a rabbit isn’t, in my opinion, as much work as a dog, but it is still certainly a lot of work. Rabbits have to be given attention as well, and they also need plenty of food and water and things to chew on so they don’t destroy all your cords (I think I lost about five chargers to the little devil).

Credit: Jillian Degrandt 

 

The last pet I’m going to talk about is a crested gecko. Above is my little brother’s crested gecko, Spikette. He originally named her Spiker, but that was before we learned it was a girl. Owning a gecko is really not that much work at all. It is far less demanding than a rabbit or a dog, plus people always give a cool reaction when you say you have a pet gecko. Owning a gecko really just requires the basics. Fill the food when the bowl is empty (usually about every other day), and fill up the water bowl with fresh water every day. The cage needs to be sprayed with water to keep it moist and cleaned regularly. We buy Spikette crickets from our local pet store every once in a while as treats. Owning a gecko really just requires feeding it and cleaning the cage, because it’s kind of hard to take a gecko for a walk.

 

If you’re thinking about getting a pet and just wondering if you would be able to handle it, it really all comes down to how much time you’re willing to put in. If you’re looking for a new best friend and are able to provide a lot of time, a dog is for you. If you want a cute, fuzzy creature that is a little less work but can still be a friend, maybe look into getting a rabbit (Mini Rex rabbits are the best, they are softer than you could ever imagine). If you want a pet that isn’t as cuddly and is not too much work, having a gecko is pretty cool.

 

Overall, having any pet is amazing; all of them are lovable and fun to own. All of them will require work, but the love they give you makes every bit of work seem worth it. Having pets really is as “paw-some” as you would believe, but only if you think you are able to put in the time, love, and energy that a pet deserves.

 

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