Regardless of breed, dogs require food, water, frequent walks, training, and veterinary care. They also are expensive pets to have when considering their food, food and water bowls, toys, environmental necessities (a comfy place to sleep, for instance, or a crate for when you leave), and fees associated with microchips and registration. Additionally, they need training! When you adopt a dog from Cedar Pet Supply, you have access to a 24/7 hotline and the DOGstar Petkey Training Program for life.
While cats are slightly less high maintenance than dogs, they still require a lot of similar care and products. With that said, cats rank lower on the list because of their independence. They are able to stay alone for long periods of time— up to 24 hours on a daily basis, and longer for special occasions--, and they aren’t as emotionally needy as dogs can be . Additionally, you can choose if your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, which can be helpful for allergy sufferers.
Hamsters need to be fed, watered and have their environment cleaned. They also need veterinary care. Unlike cats and dogs, however, hamsters are very independent and require little attention. In fact, they don’t like to be touched or handled for long periods of time!  If you are looking for a small mammal to hold, you might want to consider some of the other pets on our list. If you are looking for an independent, nocturnal companion, hamsters are your answer!
Rabbits are docile, thrive in large spaces, and don’t mind human attention. They are companion animals, meaning that you need to adopt at least two rabbits to keep them from getting depressed or lonely . They love outdoor areas, and so access to a yard is a plus. They need food, but they are herbivores— you won’t have to handle any live snakes or crickets! If you have a child, a rabbit can be a great starter pet because of its hardy nature and sweet disposition.
Ferrets are fun, mischievous, and spirited. Children love ferrets, and ferrets can make great attention. The one downside: they are very curious! Be sure to have a house that is ferret proot; you need to make sure that your ferret won’t get harmed, trapped, or attacked by another animal .
Despite their fragile appearance, birds are loveable and form bonds quickly with their humans. They need a large cage with perches, food, and clean water, and this environment will need to be cleaned often— birds poop frequently compared to other areas. They are great for children who are able to be gentle when they hold them. Finally, if you can, don’t clip their wings! Clipped wings can lead to depression and anxiety in a bird, which can lead to illness and a shorter lifespan .
Although turtles are very independent, they rely on you to make the perfect environment. Their bodies do not generate their own heat and instead rely on their environment, so you need to have a large tank, heat lamps, and filters . This will get messy quickly, so cleaning will need to be a part of your schedule. Your hard work will pay off, though— turtles can live for as long as 40 years if they are properly cared for.
Similar to turtles, reptiles need their environment to be exactly right. If they are not provided with foliage, covering, and hiding spots they can suffer from depression and stress levels that will lead to illness and low life spans . Additionally, they like live prey. If you aren’t comfortable with feeding mice or crickets, these might not be right for your household. They also don’t love to be handled, so they aren’t always the best choices for households with children. If you are looking for a low exercise and quiet roommate, lizards are the perfect choice for you!
A secret gem: rats are intelligent, friendly, easy to care for, active, and can do tricks if trained (they can even drive a tiny car— so cute!). Mice are more squeamish and don’t like to be handled, so you have to really grow some bonds with them and respect their limits . If you’re looking for a small animal that likes to exercise (lightly), rats are for you! They enjoy running out a few times each day and getting some lovin’ from their owners . Both require a sizeable cage, a bed of substrate and shavings, and toys to entertain them. Like reptiles and birds, their cages will need to be frequently cleaned.
The downside: you need to clean their tank weekly.
The upside: everything else! Non-exotic and non-tropical fish like goldfish are hardy and require little as far as time and money. The initial setup will be expensive, but you will only need to purchase a new tank once they have grown. They also require little care and can be given a self-feeding capsule if you’re going on vacation. With that said, expect your time commitment and financial commitment to ramp up if you choose a tropical or exotic fish.
- Reptiles are ectothermic and need a climate-controlled environment. They also eat live prey like mice and crickets.
- Rodents like toys, need frequent cage cleanings and vary in how much they like to be handled. Mice don’t like to be handled at all, but rats love human companionship— they will even do tricks for you!
- Rabbits love humans, but they love other rabbits more! You’ll need to adopt at least two rabbits, or they might be susceptible to illness, depression, anxiety, and a shortened lifespan. They also need an indoor and outdoor environment and should not live in cages.
- Ferrets are mischievous creatures and love to hide! You should only adopt a ferret if you don’t have an animal that will hunt them for prey, and you need to ferret-proof your house to keep them safe.
- Some birds and turtles can live for 40+ years, so be sure you see a bird or turtle in your future.
- Fish like beta fish and goldfish are easy to care for, but they still need a climate-controlled environment. They will need a new tank as they grow bigger with age.
Consult With a Cedar Pet Supply Professional
If you want to adopt a pet for the first time or are looking for the perfect starter pet for your child, the professionals at Cedar Pet Supply are here to help you decide the best pet for your lifestyle and to provide you with support along the way. Come see our selection, and walk away with a new best friend!