It might sound like a strange concept, but starter pets can be a great way of introducing animal care into your home.
What Is A “Starter” Pet?
Not meant in any way to be derogatory, a starter pet should be considered the kind of pet that has all the benefits of pet ownership – but doesn’t take as much time, effort, or expense, to care for.
Everyone loves dogs and cats; a huge number of homes tend to have at least one of these animals. However, there’s no doubt that they take a lot of energy and a lot of money to care for. It’s also a huge time investment, with dogs – on average – living for at least 10 years, and cats potentially double that with the right care.
A starter pet is meant to be a way of learning about caring, how to schedule your time for doing so, and adapting your lifestyle to suit.
Which Animals Make Good Starter Pets?
It could be said that any animal that isn’t a cat or a dog makes for a good entry point into pet ownership. However, there are a couple that are often overlooked to consider –
You don’t need a huge amount of space for a chicken; a medium size back garden will usually be sufficient, if you have room for a chicken house and a decent run. Not only are chickens fun fowl to care for, they can also be a source of eggs. If you buy a rooster, you could even end up with fertile eggs, which you can nurture with the help of incubators like those found on TheChickenHub.com. This is incredibly rewarding, as you’re there from the moment they break through the shell and look into the world for the first time!
Hamsters and rats are the classic pets for kids. These mischievous little creatures can be a lot of fun and the costs of sustaining them are fairly cheap. You’ll need a good size cage and a good food source, as well as a few toys – YourPetHamster.com has some great ideas for engaging little hamster brains.
Do They Really Prepare You For Larger Pet Ownership?
Oh yes. To begin with, you get into the habit of considering another creature. You establish feeding routines, caring for them, and ensuring they are comfortable. If you’ve never had a pet before (or it’s been awhile), then these are habits that you will need to pick up.
Cats and dogs don’t deal well with being left alone. They are prone to separation anxiety, which can mean you have to completely alter your schedule for them. This isn’t true of starter pets; you might need to make small adjustments, but it won’t be the wholesale changes that cats and dogs require. If you struggle to make these adjustments, that’s a good sign that you aren’t ready for the commitment of large pet ownership.
Which, of course, is fine. There’s plenty of fun, enjoyment, and love to enjoy with smaller starter pets – so why not make the leap into a whole new world of pet parenthood?