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Is Your Home Pet-Friendly?

I have been an avid pet person since childhood. I know how to keep them happy and healthy.

I don't think he is happy right now.

I don't think he is happy right now.

Think About The Animal

Living in an empty home or cage all day while you are at work can be hard on your pet. I know, you have no other choice, right? But if you had done a little research, you would have known if your pet would be suited for your type of living space. When you get an animal, you should think about them before you take them home. Living in a cage most of their time, sitting in a tiny backyard, or having no furniture they can call their own means the pet is nothing but a visitor, a miserable visitor. To remedy a present-day situation, try using a pet care service. Even a neighbor or family member might help.

Pets Are Great

Pets can be confidants, comforters, entertaining, and loyal. Pets love us without question. Many seem to know when we need comfort. And you can talk to your pet for hours and it will listen to every word, even if it does seem to fall asleep now and then. But a pet cannot be happy if its surroundings are too small or dangerous for them. Pets need room to run and play. They need to be warm and dry. They need to be well fed. And they need lots of love. Putting them in an environment that does not promote their health can affect your pet's behavior. Many are sent back to shelters labeled untrainable.

Do Your Research Before You Get A Pet

Checking out the breed, their requirements, and their characteristics will help to guide you in choosing your pet. All pets have things they require to keep them happy and healthy, and you and your home as well. Asking questions about the animal can be a great help (ask lots of them) as can the internet and/or a local vet. Some sources to help you are:

  • Humane Society
  • Animal Control in your area
  • Animal Shelters in your area
  • Friends and neighbors

Getting your animal from a local shelter means animals that are abandoned or abused can have a new chance at a good life.

If you are getting the animal from a pet store or breeder, be sure to check their credentials and go to the place where the animals are raised to be sure they are healthy. Make sure you get an official up-to-date record that shows they have had their shots and have been wormed. Make sure it is done by a professional vet and not the seller. There are way too many animal farms cropping up everywhere. They make it hard for the honest sellers who take the time and money to keep the animal healthy.

Some Baby Animals Grow Into Large Pets

Will this puppy be a large or small dog when he grows up?

Will this puppy be a large or small dog when he grows up?

Pet Size Matters

The size of the animal and its needed surroundings will have a huge effect on their well-being. Small spaces should not have large breeds of dogs or cats that love to run, jump, and play hard. Even if you opt for an aquarium, you need to see if the floor or area where you are going to put it can hold the weight. Even the possibility of getting the floor wet on occasion is something you should think about because some floors don't handle water well. A small puppy or kitten is okay in small places, but they tend to get bigger quickly. So answer these questions before you get the cute pet:

  • How big will it become?
  • Is it going to be very active as an adult?
  • Does it get along with young children?
  • Does it get along with other pets?
  • Is it food aggressive?
  • Is it good with families?
This animal has a pet house where it spends most of its days.

This animal has a pet house where it spends most of its days.

Keeping Them Healthy

Healthy animals make better pets. Pets that are not healthy can pose a health risk for you and your family. Also, some species need a lot of care or space daily. And while everyone knows that you should get regular checkups and shots for your animals, did you know:

  • Sphinx cats must be bathed weekly.
  • Horses need to have their teeth and hooves trimmed.
  • Some breeds of cats and dogs need to have regular brushing to keep them and their coats healthy.
  • Parasites can get into the eyes, ears, and mouths of animals and can affect their health. You will have to treat your pet regularly for fleas, ticks, and any other parasites they may be prone to have, even if they will be totally inside.
  • Bad teeth can affect your pet's health.
  • Some pets require a lot of activity to be healthy which means a lot more space inside and out.
Guinea Pigs make great pets for smaller homes.

Guinea Pigs make great pets for smaller homes.

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Large Animals

Large animals require large spaces and cannot thrive in small areas without places to run and jump, such as a large house and/or backyard. Some larger animals should be kept outside for their own well-being, and yours. Be sure to check for the suitability of an inside environment before you get the pet. Though there are many dog parks for your pet's exercise, you must take them there and stay with them. Busy pet parents should take that into account as well. Dogs that live in cold environments should be inside unless a vet advises differently.

Outside Areas

  • Outside, especially for a large dog, is extremely important for their well-being. Taking them to a spot to pee and then whisking them back inside can't be too much fun, can it? Check for dog parks and fenced areas nearby where your dog can run around off the leash. Just remember that no matter where you are, it is best to clean up when your dog defecates.
  • If you are going to leave your animal outside, you must be certain they have adequate shelter from the rain, snow, and sun. Do not use blankets or rags for the animal's bedding because the cloth can freeze. Use straw or hay for the best bedding. A larger yard is always preferable for an outside pet.
  • Make sure the tether for your animal has adequate length and is not tangled. You should bring the animal inside during inclement weather and/or bad storms. Tarps are not adequate shelters no matter how well they are attached.
  • Do not leave your pet outside during extremely hot or cold weather as this can be dangerous and could result in the animal's death. Even animals like horses and goats will need a place for protection during inclement weather.
  • Purchase a pet yard that is completely enclosed. This will allow your animal to enjoy the outside while offering them protection and offering you peace of mind.
  • Make sure all animals are vaccinated before you let them go outside because fleas, ticks, and other biting insects aren't held back by fencing. Even if your animal lies in an open window, they are at risk because the screen can let in many types of small biting insects especially if the window is close to the ground.
  • Outside animals can transmit illnesses to each other and their human owners. Be careful about letting your pet outside alone. Especially if they are not protected from usual outdoor illnesses like Feline Aids.
Make sure your large outdoor pet has plenty of room to run and play as well as adequate shelter.

Make sure your large outdoor pet has plenty of room to run and play as well as adequate shelter.

Miscellaneous Information

  1. Dogs, even small ones, need areas to run and play.
  2. Collars for your pet should be loose enough to slip two fingers between the collar and the neck. Check often to ensure it is not too tight and is not ingrown.
  3. Cats like to look out windows to watch the world go by, but be sure the screen is secure because cats will fall out of an open window.
  4. Biting, scratching, and ripping are things animals do naturally, so be sure you have a safe place for them to play with lots of their own toys.
  5. Animals like slippers, bathrobes, and towels that have your scent on them. Use a blanket for several days (even if all you do is sit on it), and then place the blanket in your animal's bed. It will help to soothe them while you are gone. Try to give them worn shoes and slippers they can chew on and keep the good ones up high.
  6. Many types of animals will swallow anything and everything. Be sure to keep string, rubber bands, socks, jewelry, and other small items off the floor because if these things get caught in an animal's intestines, it could kill them. Even small aquarium rocks can be dangerous.
  7. Plants can be poisonous to your animal. Be sure to check out which plants might be dangerous to your pet and keep them out of the house and/or backyard. Remember, baby animals will try anything just like human babies.
  8. Be sure to check to see what equipment your animal will need, an aquarium for example, and be sure you have everything before you get the animal.
  9. Most city and town areas have limits on how many animals you may have inside and outside as well as the types of animals. Be sure to check that you are following the law. Your Town Hall may be a good source for this information.


  • You need to consider your needs when choosing a pet, but also consider the pet's needs.
  • Small animals work better in smaller homes. Larger animals start out small but may get too big for your home. Be sure to check how big they will become.
  • Spending a lot of alone time, especially in a kennel, can be traumatic for your pet. Keep that in mind when choosing your pet.
  • Animals that need the outside should have plenty of running room and a sheltered area they can reach.
  • Keeping pets healthy can get expensive and should be considered when acquiring a pet. Make sure you know what care your pet will need before you get it.
  • Be informed about the health and care of your pet when acquiring it. Some places can be dishonest, causing the pet to be sick or full of parasites.
  • Use local shelters when getting a pet. This will reduce the number of pets being euthanized because there are so many strays.
  • Be sure you have enough room and/or if the animal's needs can be financially met by you.

Common Large Pets

Alaskan Malamute

Sheep Dog

Hound Dog



St. Bernard


Pit Bull

Great Dane

Common Small Pets




Small Cat Breeds

Small Dog Breeds

Domesticated Birds

Guinea Pigs




Skunks (scent bag removed)


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cheryl Simonds

Your Comments Are Always Welcome

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 02, 2019:

Thank you Peggy, I was hope to help everyone who has or is considering acquiring a pet. I appreciate your added comments.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 01, 2019:

You have given some good advice with consideration as to how best to help a pet's environment and how to keep them safe. We have had many dogs and some cats over the years. They add such enjoyment to our lives.

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