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National Pet Month

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Celebrating Our Finned, Feathered and Furry Best Friends

May is almost here and with it comes the extraordinary month-long holiday known as National Pet Month. That’s right! The entire month of May is dedicated to all of the domesticated animals we know and love as pets. This article will discuss everything pet related! This includes the origin of pets, common and uncommon pets, pets that are easy to care for and difficult to care for, and the overall importance of pets in our lives. 

Origin Of Pets

The origin of our pets coincides with the domestication of animals in general. Today we keep pets for pleasure, entertainment, and companionship. But, pets were originally kept out of purpose and necessity. Based on fossil records, the earliest known domestication of animals dates back over 12,000 years ago in the area of modern day Northern Israel. Wolves were the first animals to be domesticated most likely to help with hunting and protecting purposes. Over time these wolves would become more tame and smaller in size until eventually becoming what we now consider modern day dogs. Once human civilizations became less nomadic and more agricultural based, people began to keep cats around as a means to keep granaries and food storage buildings free of mice and vermin. As human civilizations continued to develop over time, the human-animal relationships became less practical and more symbolic. Pet ownership was exclusively for the ruling and noble class among both Roman and Greek society. During the middle ages many aristocrats would keep pets including hunting dogs and falcons (also for hunting). Nowadays, anyone and everyone can own a pet and enjoy the benefits of being a pet owner.  

Common And Uncommon Pets

Although not all animals can be properly domesticated, there are a wide variety of animals that can be considered and kept as pets. According to Pethelpful.com, the most common pet in the U.S. is of course the dog. The second most popular being cats and the third being fish. Dogs are obviously man’s best friend and renowned for their loyalty. Cats are very comforting and therapeutic animals known for their independent personalities. Fish are both beautiful and low-maintenance pets which is perfect for people who aren’t home regularly. Following the “Big Three” of most common pets are the more uncommon pets. These include birds, reptiles, rabbits, poultry, hamsters, guinea pigs, and ferrets. While these pets aren’t as common as dogs or cats, that doesn’t make them any less valuable. Every pet is beautiful and unique in its own way and can offer both love and companionship to any pet owner. No matter how common or uncommon a pet, being a pet owner is a truly remarkable and worthwhile experience. 

Easy Pets

There are varying degrees of attention and care that every pet needs which will vary depending on the pet. Some pets are considered “high maintenance” as they need consistent attention and care on a regular basis. This would include pets like dogs, chinchillas, large birds, and rabbits. All four of these animals have different reasons for needing constant attention and care, but regardless they all need regular human interaction and specific living conditions. For example, dogs need behavioral training, chinchillas require temperatures at or below 75 degrees, large birds need time outside of their cage, and rabbits need a lot of exercise.

Difficult Pets

Contrary to high maintenance pets, there are also “low maintenance” pets which could include cats, guinea pigs, goldfish, and snakes. These are the perfect pets for people that aren’t home regularly or don’t have much free time to spend with their pets. These types of pets are fairly independent and can typically get by without too much human interaction. For example, cats use litter boxes at their leisure, guinea pigs can go several days without needing their cage cleaned, goldfish only need food and a clean tank, and snakes only need a warm tank and some mice every few weeks. Choosing which pet is best for you will depend on your lifestyle, but either way owning a pet is a tremendous responsibility that everyone should experience. Still not convinced about being a pet owner? Check out our previous article entitled Responsible Pet Owners Month for more information. 

The Importance Of Pets

So why do we still keep pets around? We don’t need dogs for hunting or cats for killing mice and vermin, yet according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)  there are an estimated 48 million dogs and 31 million cats in U.S. households today. The truth is we don’t need pets in our lives, we want pets in our lives. They are loving, caring, beautiful creatures that possess the uncanny ability to form a bond with human beings. A common expression here at ParaMount Pet Care is “Pets are people too” and we treat all pets we meet like an old friend. If you’ve never owned a pet, we strongly suggest at least giving it a shot as it will change your life for the better. Start small with a low maintenance pet and work your way up. Just remember that owning a pet is both a privilege and responsibility in which neither should be taken lightly. So take a moment this month of May to honor and celebrate our pets and everything they stand for. Happy national pet month to you and your furry, feathery, and scaly families! 

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