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Which pet is right for me – Choosing a new pet.


So, you’re thinking about getting a new pet. Maybe you have lost a beloved fur-friend or maybe this is a whole new experience for you. The important thing to remember is that not all pets are the same and this goes with people as well. When you choose a new pet, you need to have the right fit between yourself and that new animal. Do you want a small pet? Are you thinking about a cat, a dog or maybe an exotic pet? Before you make your decision, you need to ask yourself, which pet is right for me?

Where do you live? How much room do you have in your home/apartment? Do you have a yard? Is it fenced in? These are all important factors to consider when thinking about a new pet. Obviously, if you want a hamster, bird, or fish: some above considerations will not apply. But even if you live in the city, in a small apartment, you are not necessarily limited to a fish or a small pet. Some dogs and most cats are perfectly happy living with you in a small space.

Which kind of pet should I get, exotic or domestic?

Let me say first that it is never a good idea to get an exotic pet. Most exotic animals have been violently extracted from the wild with some having claws and/or teeth removed. THIS IS CRUEL! These animals will NOT be happy with you! They are wild animals and most wild animals cannot be truly domesticated. Oh, you may “tame” them, but they will always be wild at heart. Save yourself, and them, the heart ache and just don’t even consider an exotic pet. There are so many great choices of pets within the realm of domestic animals that there just isn’t any reason to consider an unhappy “wild” pet.

Most people who choose exotic pets are just looking for the attention that they will provide. If that is the case with you, might I suggest that you just get a tattoo instead? Your new pet should not come to you with a job to do. The point of the pet is a new friendship. This new friendship should be mutual. Sure, you can choose a pet that you will love, but you should also take into consideration if that pet will love you back. If your new buddy loves you, he/she will be happy with you. That is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? If not, then maybe a fish is your best choice.

But that little baby pig is Sooo cute!

Baby pig

Sure, pot-bellied pigs (and even full sized pigs) are adorable as babies, but they grow up! Many people don’t realize just how big that cute little piggy will get! Even the pygmy, pot-bellied pigs grow well over 100 pounds. Some pigs will grow to outweigh you! Pigs are also very strong-willed animals. They will take over, if you are not equally strong willed with them. This can be difficult to do if your new pet realizes that he/she out weighs you.

Some people assume that pigs are dirty animals. Actually, they are not. Pigs are very clean animals. They only “wallow” in mud pits outside, as a way to keep cool and as a natural defense against annoying insects. The mud dries, cakes and protects the pigs from the painful bites of flies and ticks.

It is also important to note that pigs are near-sighted. If a small child points a finger in curiosity at this new pet, the pig may well mistake that finger as a carrot and snap it off without meaning any malice. Pigs also have a natural wetness that drains out of their eyes, causing stains to appear on their faces.

This is not a bad thing, but I only bring it up to help you to see that the adorable little baby pig that you fell in love with at the pet store will change as it grows and will look completely different as an adult.

There is much more to that as well. Pigs have tusks that continually grow. If they are not properly filed down, they will grow misshapen. The more they grow, the more difficult it will become to file them down. This is also the case with their hooves as well. Hooves are just big toe nails. They must be clipped or filed down on a regular basis or they too, will grow too long and misshapen and will cause pain and difficulty in walking for your pet.

My point here is to think about your choice before you purchase it. If you think you really want a pig, then I suggest you buy a book about raising them first. Read the book, then make your decision based on what you learn about them. This will also give you time to “cool down” that first impulse to buy that cute little piggy in the window.

Should I choose a dog, a cat or small animal?

Again, this is all about choice and what kind of home environment you have to provide for your new pet. A small animal would be very easy to own because they are usually enclosed in a cage and won’t be making messes around your home. A cat will generally be more independent than a dog and most cats are easy to litter train. Dogs, on the other hand, will need to be taken outside on a regular basis to “do their business.”.

So, the choice really depends on how much time you have to devote to the care and needs of your new pet. If you are a busy person who has to go to work every day and there is nobody at home during the day, then a cat or small animal may be your best choice. Dogs tend to need more attention from their humans and will get very lonely and bored if kept home alone all day. A bored dog becomes a destructive dog.

OK, so I’ve chosen a dog, which breed is right for me?

A lot of shelter dogs are in the shelter because their owners did not take their breeds into consideration before acquiring them. Take the border collie for instance. A border collie is one of the most intelligent of all breeds. They are also full of energy and want to be busy all the time. These dogs were bred for farm work. Herding is in their blood. If you don’t have a job for them or at least a lot of fun things to do (like chasing freebies) these dogs will get bored and they will create their own ‘fun.’ This may and often does, include tearing up your new sofa.

Border Collie

That old adage: “there are no bad dogs, only bad owners” is very true. Some of the best dogs in the world can be found in shelters and they are only there because their owners made the wrong choice of breed. There are many books about dog breeds and if a book is too expensive, the internet is full of information about breeds that will help you in your choice. I plan, as I develop this site, to be one of those places to get the information that you need as well as to direct you to the right products that will help you as you move on with your new pet.

The important thing is that my new “best buddy” and I are a good fit and we are happy together.

Yes, if you find an animal that will be happy and healthy in your home or apartment and can fit well with your lifestyle, you will both be happy. A bored or lonely animal is not a happy animal. An unhappy animal will make an unhappy pet owner. Remember, a lot of those messes on those many videos that are so funny to watch on Facebook/Twitter/YouTube could easily have been avoided if the owner had done a little research on the animal before bringing it home. By all means, get a new pet! animals are so wonderful and they bring so much joy to our lives, but when you choose your new pet, take the time to research it and choose wisely, for yourself as well as your new “buddy”.

                                                         This is Sammy. He is the man of my house!



And these are the fur-persons who own me.          


If you have any questions, you can contact me at: admin@pets4dummies.com  or you can leave a comment in the comment box. Thank you,

Virginia Buffett






  1. Cyndi Mills

    Hi, Virginia, you have some great information there! I’ve never wanted a pig, but didn’t know those things about them (so now I really wouldn’t want one!). As an animal lover myself, thank you for mentioning the shelter pets – purebred or not, I think they’re the best! – and for telling it like it is about the exotic pets. I wanted to mention also for your readers if they are interested in a certain breed they can check for rescue groups specifically for individual breeds, there are poodle rescue groups, dachshund rescue groups, etc.

    Have a great day!

    • Virginia Buffett

      Yes, that is a good point. I had plans to explore that very point in the future. Btw, I had two beloved pigs as a child. They were: Tootsie and Daisy Mae. Tootsie was so tame and spoiled that she let us kids ride her like a pony! She was a 1000 pound sow whom NEVER came in the house, but was beloved just the same.
      Thank you for your feedback.

  2. john blair

    Hi Virginia
    What a great post you are so right about choosing a pet. When we were raising a family the pet of choice was a cat. That worked out well. That old cat was just like one of the kids. She was actually much easier to live with some of the time. The kids are all on their own and we had not had an animal in the house for a long time.
    When a neighbor of ours gave us a parakeet as a gift we were hesitant about accepting it. But JoJo became a most loved member of our family.
    But you are absolutely correct about choosing a pet. Very few even consider the responsibility of caring for an animal. Check out the shelters. I am going to save my JoJo story for a post.
    Thank you for this post J Blair
    P/S Thanks for a great post story too.

    • Virginia Buffett

      You are welcome! I am glad it was helpful. May I ask, how did you know about Pets 4 dummies? I am working on this site, as you can see and do not have many followers yet. My main site is: virginiabuffett.com and one other: life-hacks-4-dummies.com I would love it if you checked those sites out as well. Thank you!


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