There are an abundance of reasons to make an animal a member of the family. Having the right pet can add so much love, responsibility and fun to family life; it is a real pity not to give it a try. If you are not sure, start with something simple, like a hamster, mouse or fish, which require minimal care and attention. If that works out, think about adopting a more interactive animal known for its suitability as a loving family member and loyal, trusting companion.
Be sure to thoroughly research the special needs of each type of pet before taking the plunge. Dogs are great pets, but they are quite emotionally needy and often need to have companionship several hours each day. A dog left alone for a majority of the day, every day of the week, would have a difficult time showing affection in an appropriate manner, and he might be more prone to misbehaving and showing signs of an antisocial personality. Cats, on the other hand, are more independent and can be left alone more often and for longer periods.
These differing needs of animals are not imagined. They come from the way the ancestors of these species developed in nature. Cats are often solitary creatures. Think of leopards and tigers, hunting on their own and raising just one or two cubs on their own. Dogs, however, are descended from wolves, which are pack animals. They hunt as a group, and live with the companionship and protection of their fellow pack members. As a result of this social structure which is instinctual, dogs tend to be more loyal and have an inner drive to protect whoever they believe is a member of their pack (family.)
Whether you choose a dog, cat, fish, bird or something else, having a pet can be a great way to add a bit of pizzazz to your family.