Cats and dogs are hands down the winners of the most popular pet competition, but you don't want to settle for a traditional pet, do you? You want something different, a pet that's a tad more exotic, perhaps. There may be as many as 1 trillion different species on the planet, and at least a few of them are domesticated. If you're allergic to cats and dogs or if you fall under the "unpopular opinion" category of someone who just doesn't like them, you can still share your heart and your home with an adorable pet.
Check out our list of adoption-worthy creatures — some furry, some scaly, but all way too cute.
Bearded dragons are very gentle and kind, plus easy to maintain — making them great pets for families, says Dr. Randi Haberkorn, a veterinarian at Meadow Veterinary Hospital in White Plains, New York. However, squeamish beware — they do require live food. "They need to eat crickets or worms, as well as fresh vegetables, so one must be close to a pet store that carries live food," she said. "On average, a trip to the pet store weekly is necessary."
If you love small furry animals, guinea pigs might be for you. They are gentle and easy to care for, however they require daily human attention and thrive if they have a second guinea pig buddy since they are herd animals, Haberkorn says. Their diet consists of hay, fresh veggies and pellets.
Another popular furry choice, rabbits make great pets, but like guinea pigs, need attention. "They require a lot of hay in their diet, so before buying one, make certain there are no allergies to timothy hay," Haberkorn advises. Rabbits live on average 10 years, so make sure everyone in the home is on the same page before taking on this commitment. Need more advice? Here are some rabbit care tips, courtesy of the ASPCA.
If you or someone in your house is allergic to fur, fish are a great alternative. According to the Humane Society of the U.S., fish make great pets, but it's important to do research so you provide your new scaly friends with the right environment and a happy life. Items to look into include water temperature, food, filters, aquarium size and other care tips. Want to know more? Here's everything you need to know about caring for fish.
If you're looking for a unique pet, sugar gliders are an exotic pet that has been quickly gaining in popularity over the past 10 years. They are a small marsupial in the possum family, averaging just 6 inches in length with soft gray fur and a black dorsal stripe. As exotic pets, they do have special needs, but are not difficult and can be a very rewarding experience, says Suz Enyedy, director of veterinary services for The Glider Initiative.
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