Top Ten Pets for Home
As we go through several centuries of human-animal relations, we cannot overlook that special place an animal has kept as a companion for its master. It may have been a rough ride at times, moments in which people did not treat their little friends with the care they deserved, but at no moment could we ever say that animals did not enjoy some form of respect. A tradition that is alive and well today, keeping pets for company is the way modern humans cope with modern day issues, like social isolation, the need for emotional attachment and loneliness. What follows is not solely a list of the most popular pets or most child-friendly pets, but a list of pets that have a long standing title of being well respected human companions.
Although it is not a surprising first choice, as there are plenty to advocate a dog’s amazing behavior as a pet, the reason for it being at the top of the list is the fact that it was the first animal that served for something else other than food. It is obviously not the first domesticated animal, but the first one that a human relied on for security and support. There are still plenty of canines that perform security tasks dutifully and are preferred by many as the first protection means for someone’s home. Smaller dogs, like the Bichon, are common companions preferred for their ability to lift one’s morale – it is a known fact that petting a Bichon is a form of stress relief.
The history between humans and cats has its ups and downs. Revered creatures in ancient Egypt and a dreaded presence in medieval Europe, cats have gone through history keeping some of their historical, popular myths alive, as well as the mythical grace with which they were supposedly endowed by the gods. As a living proof of this animal’s tradition as a pet, the different breeds in which it comes nowadays show the dedication of cat lovers to breed their companions to perfection; the cat is no longer just a useful creature to keep rats away from the grain.
Although primarily used as a lab rat, it didn’t take long for this tiny critter to make his way into our homes. It did so without hiding in holes and invading our corn stockpile, as some of his distant cousins are known to enter our lives. The hamster was a clear preference for those that wanted to have a pet but didn’t have time to walk it or groom it every day. A hamster is handled with ease and gets by on less food than a dog, not to mention it is blissfully silent.
Being around as house pets since before the time of ancient Rome, there are plenty of reasons to keep an aquarium with fish regardless of your living arrangements. No landlord will take issue with you keeping an aquarium – unlike keeping a St. Bernard around – and the aquarium itself contributes to the decorum of the room in which it is placed. Fish come in all shapes, colors and sizes, so you will likely end up with a relaxing assortment of colors that takes very little space and very little effort to own.
The Guinea Pig
Although primarily bred as a food source in South America, it was brought to Europe by the Spanish after their conquest of the Inca Empire. It then quickly became a favored pet among the Spanish aristocracy, and it continues to be a preferred pet today. The guinea pig is a docile creature, unlikely to bite, chew or jump out of his box, making it an easily accommodated pet in any house.
Native to the southern Andes, the chinchilla was long hunted for its fur, a practice that has led to the near extinction of this furry rodent. Its survival is based on his cute look, as it became a beloved pet to people in the civilized world. This also brought increased awareness to the chinchilla’s endangered condition and helped it survive. Although chinchilla furs are still in demand, they are produced in special farms, thus saving the animal from extinction. As a pet, a chinchilla is preferred for its longer life span when compared to its relatives – 15 years. However, it is also more difficult to accommodate the furry little jumper, as there is little material through which it will not chew. They are still preferred in spite of this, due to their lack of “breeding issues”, a couple having less litters in a year than a hamster couple would.
An unlikely option, some would say, the snake was not always the symbol of dread it is today. Despite the drama accompanying snakes today, many owners rediscover their value as a pet. They do not require much space and can be fed on an infrequent basis, making them the least of a headache.
Whether it’s a cage bird like the canary or the parrot, or a hunting bird like the hawk, man has always tried to be in possession of such a majestic being.
A less common house pet, the ferret resembles the cat in the fact that it was first kept as a means to keep rodents away from the house. Like the cat, ferrets were domesticated in ancient Egypt and held in high esteem.
Over the centuries, the common wild hare was both a pest and a food source for the humans of the time. Less of a pest nowadays, it is still kept as a food source in some countries, though the practice is increasingly rare these days. It is more likely to encounter the rabbit as a house pet, since its cute and fluffy appearance is a magnet for kids now as it was a century ago.
Though human preferences in terms of pet companions stretches from the common dog to some of the more extreme exotic species, the purpose of this list was to look at some of the more long-standing animals that have held a place in our hearts and homes as pets.↑ Back to Top