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Thread: Top 20 family pets

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Top 20 family pets

    Pete Wedderburn at home with 'Pip'
    From dogs and cats to cows and gerbils, veterinary surgeon Pete Wedderburn presents his top 20 family pets.


    1. DOGS

    Somebody once said: “The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.” Dogs exemplify unconditional love. They are eager to please, with no bad moods, almost worshipping humans in return for a little food and attention.

    They also encourage us to take exercise. The right dog in the right home is an unbeatable example of a pet at its best. My favourite type is a healthy cross-bred mix, but the breed of pedigree dog I like above all others is the playful border terrier, pictured.



    2. CATS

    If dogs are from Mars, cats are from a planet yet to be discovered. They are self-aware, fastidious, proud creatures who do as they please. It feels an honour to be chosen as a cat’s friend, and there is nothing more calming than a cat curled up on your lap, emitting a soothing purr.

    I love the quirky individuality of pedigree cats such as the Burmese, but my overall favourite is a ginger moggy.

    3. RABBITS

    These intelligent mammals were once maligned as fluffy dimwits to be kept in solitary confinement in a garden hutch. “House bunnies” now live indoors, use a litter tray like a cat and impress visitors with their cheeky personalities..

    4. GUINEA PIGS

    The ideal starter pet for children. They like to be petted, communicating with high-pitched squeaks, and are less likely to nip than many other small pets.

    5. RATS

    Despite their “dirty” image and unappealing (to many) looks, rats make surprisingly good pets. They are intelligent, clean and, when tamed, easy to handle.


    6. GERBILS

    They resemble mini-kangaroos, with their powerful hind legs and upright posture. These inquisitive, busy creatures, dig networks of tunnels in their bedding and provide plenty of entertainment for their owners.


    7. HAMSTERS

    The only small pet mammals that enjoy solitude, hamsters make good single pets for children, despite the fact that some can give the odd blood-letting nip. Plenty of gentle handling from a young age minimises this risk.


    8. BIRDS

    From parrots and cockatoos that live for more than 50 years to budgies and canaries with a life span of a decade, there are plenty of birds to choose from.

    The RSPCA says it can be difficult to meet a bird’s welfare needs in a cage and that an aviary is the ideal option.

    9. SNAKES

    Small snakes, such as grass or corn snakes, make fascinating, different pets. The diet of frozen newborn mice can upset some people, but is it any worse than the meat that goes into pet foods? Live feeding of prey is cruel, and unnecessary, despite the myths...


    10. FISH

    A tankful of fish can be a colourful, intriguing and soothing presence in a room. It may be difficult to imagine having an emotional bond with a fish, but if you had a goldfish that lived for more than 20 years, you might change your mind.

    11. STICK INSECTS

    Stick insects are safe and interesting starter pets. They excel at reproduction and escapology: if you don’t want stick insects hiding in your curtains, make sure the tank is well-sealed.

    12. LIZARDS

    Startlingly similar to mini-dinosaurs, lizards appeal to people who enjoy their “shock” factor.

    13. HENS

    There is something strangely satisfying about seeing a small flock of hens strutting and scratching around in the back garden. And don’t forget the bonus of fresh eggs.

    14. DUCKS AND GEESE

    The blunt-shaped bill, distinctive “quack” or “hoot” and big, wide, webbed feet are all appealing. These aquatic birds offer natural pest control by eating slugs, and, quick to raise an alarm, they make excellent property guardians.

    15. HORSES

    Horses and ponies have an imposing combination of strength and sensitivity. A serious commitment often results in unforgettable friendship.

    16. GOATS

    If you have space and time, the curious company of a few goats can be beguiling. With a bit more time, you can have your own milk supply.

    17. SHEEP

    Sheep are often kept as pets after being hand-reared as lambs. But some people find their empty-looking eyes off-putting.

    18. PIGS

    Sir Winston Churchill said: “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

    If you have the land, a small pig such as the kune-kune might suit you. This friendly breed tends to make a better pet than the traditional farmyard porkers.

    19. TORTOISES AND TERRAPINS

    These creatures are low on my list, because I feel they are better served by remaining untouched in the wild rather than being kept in unsuitable tanks and fed on inappropriate diets, as is so often the case.

    20. COWS

    I yearn to have my own small Dexter cow in the garden. They have soulful dark eyes and a charming “Moooooo”. Perhaps one day…


    Top 20 family pets - Telegraph

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i can honestly say i've never had a stick insect as a pet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msdebagain View Post
    i can honestly say i've never had a stick insect as a pet.
    Nor do I want one.
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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    What, no ferrets? He's a poser!

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    i fucking hate ferrets. Sure they're cute, but they crap in every corner, squeeze under, through, over, in between everything and open/knock over/tear everything apart.

    They also stink, but the one my old roomates had didn't stink per se.. it had a sweet musky odor.
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    ^ and they steal too, don't they?

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    God yes. They have a particular obsession with shoe inserts. I'd always find mine stolen out of my boots and in its little nest.
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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    ^ haha. I thought they did.

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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Mine (I had 2) had different personalities. The boy had an obsession with anything related to cigarrettes: packs of ciggies (opened/never opened/a whole unopened carton and lighters. I used to save all my empty packs and keep a bag full. I'd call that the 'babysitter'. I'd shut them in a room and throw cigg packs allover the place and he would get every single one and drag them under the bed in a pile. He took lighters and lined them up under the bed up against the wall in a perfect formation. I've got photos of him stealing a pack out of my husband's shirt pocket while he napped on the couch. He would kiss me on the lips by licking me and wouldn't do that to anybody else.

    My little girl was 1 1/2 lbs and she was the dominant one. I saw her drag a 10 lb bowling ball (in a carrier bag) by her teeth because it was blocking the door. She used to flip my 15 lb cat over by grabbing his neck. They loved to play with the cats.

    God, they were cute. I miss them even though they destroyed a lot of carpet by digging under the door trying to get out. I just put paper in all the corners of the room because that's where they pottied when they were loose.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah, they're smart little things.. they played like kittens (when they werent sleepin, which was most of the time)
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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Hamsters are short-lived and nocturnal. Running on the damned wheel all night making a racket but so cute that you fall in love and then they go and die on you and break your heart.

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    im suprised rats made number 5, wow!! not sure i recommend them for families with small kids though... my rat has become a horder.. she steals random things particularly pens and pencils and bunny hops back to a dark corner. kinda funny for awhile..

    ferrets... little stinky bastards they bite and don't let go.. if you try to pull them off they sink their teeth in harder.. did i mention they stink and are vicious
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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    ^^^Mine never bit....not once. I trained them from when they were 9 weeks old. Plenty of ferrets don't bite.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    The one in our apartment never bit, not once. He might mouth you while playing but that's it. He was actually very friendly, playful and had a good disposition.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crumpet View Post
    Mine (I had 2) had different personalities. The boy had an obsession with anything related to cigarrettes: packs of ciggies (opened/never opened/a whole unopened carton and lighters. I used to save all my empty packs and keep a bag full. I'd call that the 'babysitter'. I'd shut them in a room and throw cigg packs allover the place and he would get every single one and drag them under the bed in a pile. He took lighters and lined them up under the bed up against the wall in a perfect formation. I've got photos of him stealing a pack out of my husband's shirt pocket while he napped on the couch. He would kiss me on the lips by licking me and wouldn't do that to anybody else.

    My little girl was 1 1/2 lbs and she was the dominant one. I saw her drag a 10 lb bowling ball (in a carrier bag) by her teeth because it was blocking the door. She used to flip my 15 lb cat over by grabbing his neck. They loved to play with the cats.

    God, they were cute. I miss them even though they destroyed a lot of carpet by digging under the door trying to get out. I just put paper in all the corners of the room because that's where they pottied when they were loose.
    I love it. It makes me want to get a couple.

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