The right pet can change a person’s life. Pets offer unconditional love, companionship, and lots of fun! They come with their fair share of responsibility, though, and not every pet is suitable for a first-time owner. If you’re looking to bring a pet into your life but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a rundown of the best.
Cats are complex creatures with a complex range of needs. Certain breeds are also highly intelligent and need stimulation to function well. That said, they are far more independent than dogs, can be left alone (some for up to 24 hours if there’s ample food and water available), and don’t require anywhere near the level of intervention that other pets do. Cats groom themselves, use a litter tray, and entertain themselves with toys or even explore outdoors. Breeds differ radically, so it’s important to do your research, but cat ownership offers minimal stress.
Fish have the reputation of being the ultimate low-maintenance pet, but it pays to exercise caution. Not all fish can simply be left in the tank, fed twice a day, and then admired. Tropical fish, for example, need carefully maintained aquariums and specific types of food. These can be extraordinarily expensive and aren’t at all suitable for first-time owners. Goldfish, however, are much lower maintenance. You’ll need to clean the tank regularly and ensure that you keep up a feeding schedule, but goldfish make an excellent starting point for pet owners. If you’re unsure about the needs of your fish, pet stores in Phoenix will be able to advise on water temperature, diet, and lighting.
#3 Guinea Pigs
A favorite amongst children, guinea pigs crave company, so you should always keep them in groups of at least two (both neutered). This has the additional benefit of making them much lower maintenance than other pets. Since Guinea Pigs don’t rely on you to provide their companionship and entertainment, they’re perfectly happy functioning without human intervention. That said, Guinea Pigs do love to play and can be extremely affectionate once properly socialized. They are prey animals, though, so they don’t particularly enjoy being picked up. Guinea pigs are best interacted with at ground level, where they feel safest.
#4 Hamsters And Gerbils
These small, furry animals are a popular first-time pet. They’re fairly low maintenance, enjoy playing, and can be cheaper than other pets due to their size (they don’t eat much). Gerbils and hamsters aren’t a pet you can simply forget about, though. They’re intelligent creatures who need to be engaged with puzzles, mazes, and toys. A large “aquarium” with deep bedding (both like to burrow) is perfect, especially if it incorporates mazes and wheels to keep the animals occupied. Both can be socialized, but gerbils are generally tamer. If handled regularly, they can become very affectionate, even seeking out your company if you leave them alone for too long. People are often surprised by how intelligent these small animals really are.