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How To Choose the Pet That's Best For You

Choose carefully—don't get a pet man-o-war jellyfish when your personality is more suited to a pet dog.


  • Step 1: Consider your workday, travel and other commitments. Young pets often require more time to train.
  • Step 2: Assess how much time you can give a pet daily. Consider your workday, travel, other commitments, and if anyone else will help take care of the pet. Young pets often require more time to train, and so on.
  • Step 3: A cramped apartment can be good for a cat, but bad for a large or active dog. All pets should have the maximum amount of space you can manage. Even the smallest finch or tiniest guppy wants to be able to roam.
  • Step 4: Consider your financial resources. Vet care for dogs and cats can run to several hundred dollars a year, and even smaller critters need checkups. Consider the cost of food, grooming, toys, and special equipment, such as heat lamps for reptiles.
  • Step 5: Think about your personality. Are you laid back or easily stressed? Active or relaxed? Is your ideal pet young and frisky or older and settled down? Noisy and messy or quiet and clean? Knowing yourself will make you both much happier.
  • Step 6: Finished with your homework? Congratulations! Now you and your pet can become the best of pals.
  • FACT: As early as the 14th century, crickets were being kept as pets—first housed in silk bags, then in ornately carved gourds that were sometimes trimmed with silver or ivory.

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