Pets

A pet is a domesticated animal that lives with an individual or family. There are popular, well-known pets like dogs and cats. Alternatively, there are less common pets sometimes called exotics such as snakes, turtles, and iguanas. Whether a pet is common or exotic, it can offer pleasure and joy to a household.

10 Characteristics of Pets

What makes an animal a pet? For example, we know there are snakes that live in the wild and there are snakes kept as pets. There are certain characteristics that differentiate a pet from an animal living in the wild.

  • Dependent on Humans to Live – A pet needs to be given food, water, and shelter by its owner. Being domesticated means the animal depends on its owner for all of its care.
  • Lives in a Home – A pet lives in a home. Some pets such as parakeets and hamsters live in cages. Alternatively, dogs and cats wander freely around a home and may have their own bed to sleep in.
  • Needs a Veterinarian’s Care – Pets need care from a veterinarian. The type of healthcare a pet needs depends on what type of pet it is. An iguana and a beagle need completely different types of vet care!
  • Some Pets Can Be Trained – A dog can learn how to sit, stay, and heel in a course of obedience training. Parrots can be taught to talk, and some cats can be taught by humans to do tricks.
  • Devoted to Its Owner – Pets are often devoted to their owners. They can establish a trust with their owner over time. In fact, some pets want to be with their owners 24/7!
  • Provides Companionship – A pet is meant to be a companion to its owner.
  • Pets are Different from a Therapy Animal – A therapy animal receives specific training in order to provide support and care to its owner. As an example, some therapy dogs are trained to recognize the signs of a seizure in their owner. The dog responds by trying to get the person to a safe place. Alternatively, a pet is there strictly as a companion.
  • Different from a Farm Animal – A cow or a chicken living on a farm serves a specific purpose. A cow provides milk while a chicken lays eggs to be eaten or sold. This makes farm animals a little different than traditional pets.
  • Can Be Common or Uncommon – When you think of a pet you probably picture a dog, a cat, a bird, a fish, or a gerbil. Those are common choices for pets. Some people prefer less common or exotic pets such as snakes, iguanas, spiders, and ferrets. As long as an owner can offer appropriate care, many animals can live happily as pets.
  • Cannot Survive in the Wild – One of the main characteristics separating pets from other animals is a pet can’t survive in the wild. It has been domesticated or raised under a person’s care. So, releasing a pet snake into the wild doesn’t mean it will know how to find food or shelter. In fact, it will likely die.

Some pets are particularly popular in the United States. Look at some of the pros and cons of each one.

Dogs

When it comes to the most popular pet in the United States, dogs are the clear winner!

Pros of Having a Dog As A Pet

  • One of the pros of choosing this pet is there are hundreds of breeds of dogs to choose from so it’s easy to find the right fit your household.
  • Another pro is a dog can be a loyal companion that can guard your property as well.
  • Many people appreciate the unconditional love offered by many pet dogs.

Cons of Having a Dog As A Pet

  • The high costs of vet care and food for a dog can put a strain on the household budget. This depends a lot on what breed of dog you choose.
  • Another con is some dogs shed more than others and can leave a lot of hair behind on the furniture. Be sure to check the shedding level of the dog breed you’re interested in if this is a concern.

Cats

A cat is another popular pet in the United States. These domesticated creatures are sleek, fast and always seem to have the wheels turning in their head!

Pros Of Having A Cat As A Pet

  • Cats are low-maintenance pets in that they don’t need to be walked or taken to the park
  • Cats are quiet animals, so you don’t have to worry about excessive noise in your home
  • The monthly food bill for a cat is usually low because they aren’t known to need a large amount of food

Cons of Having A Cat As A Pet

  • A cat has sharp claws that can damage upholstery, rugs and other furniture
  • Male cats can spray urine in an effort to mark their territory. This can happen inside a home creating a big stink. Cats that are neutered are less likely to spray the environment.
  • A cat that’s kept outside should be monitored because these animals can easily be hit by a car if they wander out into the road

Rodents

This category includes hamsters, gerbil, mice, rats, and guinea pigs.

Pros of Having Rodents As Pets

  • Hamsters, gerbils and other rodent pets are low-maintenance requiring less care than a larger pet.
  • Rodents are playful creatures that can be fun to interact with or simply observe. For instance, guinea pigs have been known to let out a squeal when they hear their owner’s voice!
  • Rodents and their cages are easy to move to other places in a home if you need to relocate it to another room

Cons of Having Rodents As Pets

  • Rodents can sometimes escape their cage or habitat making it necessary to find creative ways to catch them
  • A rodent’s cage can take on an odor if you don’t establish a regular cleaning schedule
  • If you get a male and female gerbil, hamster, etc. without realizing it, you can end up with a cage full of babies!
  • Some rodents like hamsters are nocturnal so they can make a lot of noise at night spinning on their wheel or digging in their bedding

Fish

Fish are popular pets in the United States because they are interesting and beautiful creatures.

Pros of Having Fish As Pets

  • There are plenty of fish that are easy to care for and make a great first pet for a family
  • Setting up and decorating a fish tank can be a fun, creative project for the whole family
  • Whether it’s freshwater fish or a tropical fish, the options are endless!
  • Setting up the right lighting for your aquarium can show off the colorful fins of your fish

Cons Of Having Fish As Pets

  • Some fish get sick very easily and can quickly pass germs to other fish in the tank causing them to die
  • Emptying a large fish tank to clean it can be a hassle but is necessary to keep the fish healthy

Birds

Parakeets are a common choice for families who want to keep pet birds. Parrots, cockatiels, finches, canaries, and doves are other pet birds popular in the United States.

Pros Of Having Birds as Pets

  • Some birds can be taught to talk, sit on your finger and otherwise interact with family members
  • Birds are colorful and fun to watch as they chatter with one another
  • The food costs for a bird are very low

Cons of Having Birds as Pets

  • Birds can throw around a lot of seed requiring regular vacuuming and clean-up of the area
  • Some birds squawk very loudly which can create a noisy household. Parrots can get especially loud if they feel they’re being ignored!
  • Birds need to exercise outside of the cage and it may difficult to get them back into their habitat. It’s a good idea to train them to return to the cage with a special signal like shaking their box of food
  • Birds can become sick if they are kept in a place that is exposed to cold drafts. They need special consideration during the cold weather months

Exotic Pets

Some pets are considered exotic pets because they need special care to stay healthy. Some examples include:

Turtles

The eastern box turtle, western painted turtle and the Red-Eared Slider are all turtles that are kept as pets in households. A turtle is considered an exotic pet because it needs moisture, light and the right kind of food. In short, you can’t just put it into a cage with bedding like it’s a hamster! Plus, turtles have a long lifespan if you take care of them correctly. Keep that in mind if you plan to get a turtle for a pet. Turtles can live for 30, 40 or more years!

Iguanas

An iguana is a popular exotic pet that requires a specific type of care to keep it healthy. For one, it needs warmth and light to thrive. They can live for 20 years if they receive the proper care.

Snakes

Though snakes aren’t high on the list of common pets, they are kept in many households. Corn snakes, milk snakes and ball pythons are some typical choices. The temperature in a snake’s cage needs to be monitored and it must receive the right type and amount of food to stay healthy.

Ferrets

Ferrets are growing in popularity as exotic pets because they are playful and intelligent. They can be mischievous but are known to be loyal to their owners. Ferrets do have a strong bite so it’s best to find a young one to socialize it properly.

Tarantulas

A tarantula is another exotic pet that needs a particular kind of care to survive in a home. Some species of tarantula need moisture so misting the habitat is necessary. They like to hide and are really quiet, gentle animals. With the right care they can live up to 20 years.

All Pets

A Abyssinian
Abyssinian

The oldest breed of cat in the world!

A Affenpinscher
Affenpinscher

First bred in 17th century Germany!

A Afghan Hound
Afghan Hound

First used as a shepherd and hunter!

A Ainu
Ainu

An innate sense of direction!

A Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terrier

Very intelligent, independent and strong-minded!

A Airedoodle
Airedoodle

This is a great pooch for rough-housing and one-to-one.

A Akbash
Akbash

Often used as a guard dog!

A Akita
Akita

Very clean, intelligent and loyal!

A Akita Shepherd
Akita Shepherd

The Akita Shepherd descends from a lineage of working dogs.

A Alabai
Alabai

The Alabai’s genes indicate that this breed has been around for more than 5,000 years.

A Alaskan Husky
Alaskan Husky

The Alaskan Husky is one of the most common sled dogs in the world

A Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute

Often used as sled dogs!

A Alaskan Shepherd
Alaskan Shepherd

This dog’s Malamute ancestors once came to America across the Bering Strait.

A Alpine Dachsbracke
Alpine Dachsbracke

Good companion and hard-working breed!

A Alusky
Alusky

Alusky dogs are known for their sledding pulling skills.

A American Bulldog
American Bulldog

Can jump up to 6ft high!

A American Cocker Spaniel
American Cocker Spaniel

Merry, outgoing, and eager to please!

A American Coonhound
American Coonhound

Easygoing and people-friendly!

A American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo has splendid all white fur and an upturned tail

A American Foxhound
American Foxhound

Sweet, kind, loyal, and very loving!

A American Hairless Terrier
American Hairless Terrier

The American hairless terrier comes in two varieties with one having a very short coat.

A American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier

These dogs are very energetic and would be up for a game at any given point of time

A American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier

Bred to be extremely friendly!

A American Water Spaniel
American Water Spaniel

Friendly and intelligent!

A Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Guards it's master's flocks!

A Appenzeller Dog
Appenzeller Dog

Herding dog by nature!

A Apple Head Chihuahua
Apple Head Chihuahua

Apple Head Chihuahuas are toy breed dogs with a history dating back to ancient Mexico. They are lovable, loyal, smart and courageous with a lengthy lifespan despite being the world's smallest canines.

A Aussiedoodle
Aussiedoodle

The breed has its own popular Instagram page (Aussiedoodles Daily)!

A Aussiedor
Aussiedor

Aussiedors come in black, brown, cream, yellow, and almost every imaginable color due to their parentage!

A Australian Bulldog
Australian Bulldog

The Aussie is a strong swimmer, a good workout in nice weather.

A Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dog

High energy levels and active minds!

A Australian Kelpie Dog
Australian Kelpie Dog

Friendly, intelligent and energetic!

A Australian Labradoodle
Australian Labradoodle

The "Australian" just refers to where the breed originated

A Australian Mist
Australian Mist

First bred in the 1700s!

A Australian Retriever
Australian Retriever

The Australian Retriever may have two different eye colors.

A Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd

Sweet, faithful and affectionate!

A Australian Terrier
Australian Terrier

Spirited, alert and courageous!

A Balinese
Balinese

Playful and energetic breed!

A Basenji Dog
Basenji Dog

Alert, affectionate and energetic!

A Bassador
Bassador

This dog is also known as a Bassetdor or a Basset Lab.

A Basset Fauve de Bretagne
Basset Fauve de Bretagne

A friendly and intelligent hunting dog that loves nothing more than to spend time with its owner.

A Basset Hound
Basset Hound

Forget the training when not rewarded!

A Bassetoodle
Bassetoodle

Basset hounds have been around since the 7th century, but the bassetoodle made its first appearance in the 2000s.

A Bavarian Mountain Hound
Bavarian Mountain Hound

Calm, quiet and poised!

A Bea-Tzu
Bea-Tzu

The Bea-Tzu has a fast-growing coat

A Beabull
Beabull

An excellent companion for cats!

A Beagador
Beagador

Beagadors like to dig, so make sure your garden has a good fence around it.

A Beagle
Beagle

Have become popular family pets!

A Beagle Shepherd
Beagle Shepherd

This dog can perform a wide range of exotic and acrobatic tricks that are not expected of a dog this size.

A Beaglier
Beaglier

These dogs have great sniffer abilities

A Beago
Beago

Beagos are good swimmers like their Golden Retriever parent.

A Bearded Collie
Bearded Collie

Weekly brushing is mandatory!

A Bearded Dragon
Bearded Dragon

Can grow to up 24 inches long!

A Beaski
Beaski

Beaskis love to play, so get ready to go on plenty of long walks.

A Bedlington Terrier
Bedlington Terrier

Highly active and intelligent dogs!

A Belgian Shepherd
Belgian Shepherd

The sheepdog is also known as the Groenendael. All four Belgian varieties have nicknames for Belgian villages.

A Bergamasco
Bergamasco

Bergamascos are excellent problem solvers; they were bred to be independent as they work alongside their nomadic shepherd owners.

A Bernedoodle
Bernedoodle

The Bernedoodle was first bred in 2003 to create a dog with a similar temperament to the Bernese Mountain Dog that would have a longer lifespan.

A Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog

Very loyal, faithful and affectionate!

A Bernese Shepherd
Bernese Shepherd

Bernese shepherds prefer cool climates

A Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise

Gentle mannered, playful and affectionate!

A Bichpoo
Bichpoo

Despite its small size, the alert nature and sharp bark of this canine make it a good watch dog.

A Biewer Terrier
Biewer Terrier

A toy terrier dog and is elegant and tri-colored.

A Birman
Birman

Also known as the Sacred Cat of Burma!

A Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terrier

Confident, calm and highly intelligent!

A Bloodhound
Bloodhound

Affectionate, gentle and even-tempered!

A Blue Lacy Dog
Blue Lacy Dog

Originated in Texas in the mid 1800s!

A Bluetick Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound

Has an uncanny knack for problem-solving!

A Boggle
Boggle

Boggles at animal rescues are often mistaken for pitbulls because they have a similar facial structure.

A Boglen Terrier
Boglen Terrier

Boglen terriers are also occasionally known as boggles.

A Bolognese Dog
Bolognese Dog

From the northern Italian city of Bologna!

A Bombay
Bombay

Bred to look like a black panther!

A Borador
Borador

Boradors make excellent police dogs and are used often on search and rescue missions.

A Border Collie
Border Collie

Highly intelligent and alert breed!

A Border Terrier
Border Terrier

Small, rough-coated breed of terrier!

A Bordoodle
Bordoodle

Bordoodles are much quieter than other Doodles and require far less exercise.

A Borkie
Borkie

Most Borkies inherit the signature howl of their Beagle parent.

A Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

Friendly, lovable and very strong!

A Boxador
Boxador

Boxadors are extremely smart and catch onto backyard games very quickly!

A Boxer Dog
Boxer Dog

Bright, energetic and playful!

A Boxerdoodle
Boxerdoodle

The Boxerdoodle has a strong hunting dog lineage.

A Boxsky
Boxsky

Boxers were bred to be working war dogs, and their boxsky descendants still love to help out on ranches and other outdoor jobs.

A Boxweiler
Boxweiler

Boxweilers come in a variety of colors, but they usually feature the subtle brindle pattern that their boxer parents are so famous for.

A Boykin Spaniel
Boykin Spaniel

Enthusiastic working dog!

A Brazilian Terrier
Brazilian Terrier

Small body and tri-coloured coat!

A Brittany
Brittany

The breed was formerly known as the Brittany spaniel

A Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon prefers to live with another dog so they have a companion to play with.

A Budgerigar
Budgerigar

Natively found in Australia!

A Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier

Needs to be kept active!

A Bulldog
Bulldog

Friendly, loving and docile!

A Bullmastiff
Bullmastiff

Courageous, loyal and calm!

A Burmese
Burmese

Adoring, elegant and affectionate!

A Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terrier

Intelligent, lively and strong!

A Canaan Dog
Canaan Dog

Has a strong survival instinct!

A Cane Corso
Cane Corso

Cane Corsos nearly became extinct in the mid 1900’s, but the breed was revived by a group of Italians. Even so, they still didn’t become known in many other parts of the world until after 1988.

A Carolina Dog
Carolina Dog

Wild dog breed discovered in the 1970s!

A Cat
Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

A Cavador
Cavador

The Cavador is a good service dog.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Highly playful and affectionate!

A Cavapoo
Cavapoo

The temperament of a Cavapoo allows this breed to make an excellent family dog as well as a great therapy dog.

A Cesky Fousek
Cesky Fousek

An affectionate hunting dog!

A Cesky Terrier
Cesky Terrier

This breed is also known as the Bohemian Terrier (Bohemia was an historical Medieval kingdom and a region of the modern Czech Republic)

A Cheagle
Cheagle

Some Cheagles have an excellent sense of smell.

A Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Bright and happy disposition!

A Chihuahua
Chihuahua

Curious and devoted personality!

A Chinese Crested Dog
Chinese Crested Dog

A hairless breed of dog!

A Chinese Shar-Pei
Chinese Shar-Pei

These dogs have a blue and black tongue.

A Chinook
Chinook

A calm and friendly breed!

A Chipoo
Chipoo

The Chipoo was first bred in the 1970s

A Chorkie
Chorkie

Chorkies are very fond of their owners and will love to sit in their laps for long amounts of time!

A Chow Chow
Chow Chow

Loyal and affectionate to it's family!

A Chow Shepherd
Chow Shepherd

The Chow Shepherd is also known as the Sheprachow.

A Clumber Spaniel
Clumber Spaniel

Has a thick, soft coat!

A Cockapoo
Cockapoo

Cockapoos became popular in the 1960s as a sweet, family dog.

A Cockatoo
Cockatoo

Highly social, smart, and chatty bird.

A Collie
Collie

Gentle and devoted!

A Corgidor
Corgidor

Corgidors are herding dogs that typically help out on cattle farms.

A Corgipoo
Corgipoo

These dogs are highly intelligent and are easy to train.

A Corkie
Corkie

One of the Corkie’s parent breeds, the Cocker Spaniel, was thought to have come over on the Mayflower.

A Corman Shepherd
Corman Shepherd

Corman Shepherds can be great watchdogs and are often very protective of their owners.

A Curly Coated Retriever
Curly Coated Retriever

A lively and fun-loving breed!

A Dachsador
Dachsador

This hybrid dog is also known as a Doxador or a Weinerdor.

A Dachshund
Dachshund

Fun and playful breed of small dog!

A Dalmadoodle
Dalmadoodle

Dalmatians were originally bred to run alongside carriages, and their dalmadoodle descendents have the same long legs and high energy.

A Dalmador
Dalmador

Dalmador breeding skyrocketed after the 16 release of the live-action 101 Dalmatians movie.

A Dalmatian
Dalmatian

Have an energetic and playful nature!

A Dapple Dachshund
Dapple Dachshund

A Dapple Dachshund’s dappling pattern may be just one spot, or it may be numerous spots and splashes on their coat.

A Deer Head Chihuahua
Deer Head Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world.

A Deutsche Bracke
Deutsche Bracke

Has long drop ears and a long narrow tail!

A Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinscher

A gentle, loyal and loving breed!

A Dog
Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

A Dogo Argentino
Dogo Argentino

Loyal and affectionate to their family!

A Dogue De Bordeaux
Dogue De Bordeaux

Extremely loyal and devoted to it's master!

A Dorkie
Dorkie

Dorkies are so laid-back they sometimes need extra incentive to exercise each day.

A Double Doodle
Double Doodle

Exact origin unknown.

A Doxiepoo
Doxiepoo

Doxiepoos are an unpredictable breed that can come in a variety of appearances and sizes.

A Doxle
Doxle

Doxles have long floppy ears

A Drever
Drever

Uncommon outside of Europe!

A Dunker
Dunker

A friendly and relaxed dog!

A Egyptian Mau
Egyptian Mau

An ancient breed of domestic cat!

A English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniel

Intelligent yet stubborn by nature!

A English Cream Golden Retriever
English Cream Golden Retriever

Although their coats can get incredibly light in color, golden retrievers never have purely white coats.

A English Foxhound
English Foxhound

English Foxhounds were bred to work and live in a pack. Because of this, this breed is happiest when they are around other dogs.

A English Shepherd
English Shepherd

Highly intelligent and independent!

A English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniel

Friendly and eager to please!

A Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Native to parts of the Swiss Alps!

A Epagneul Pont Audemer
Epagneul Pont Audemer

Hard-working, gentle and affectionate!

A Eskimo Dog
Eskimo Dog

Takes pure delight in cold weather!

A Eskipoo
Eskipoo

Eskipoos are called pookimos by the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and Designer Breed Registry.

A Estrela Mountain Dog
Estrela Mountain Dog

Very protective and stubborn!

A Feist
Feist

The word feisty derived from this type of dog.

A Fennec Fox
Fennec Fox

Found in the African Sahara Desert!

A Ferret
Ferret

Ferrets can be trained to do tricks like dogs!

A Field Spaniel
Field Spaniel

A sociable and adaptable breed!

A Finnish Spitz
Finnish Spitz

Likes to bark a lot!

A Fish
Fish

Respire through the gills on their heads!

A Flat-Coated Retriever
Flat-Coated Retriever

A game retrieving gun-dog!

A Fox Terrier
Fox Terrier

First bred in the mid-19th century!

A French Bulldog
French Bulldog

French bulldogs are known to be very sensitive, harboring emotions that they love to express

A Frengle
Frengle

Frengles have a haunting howl very similar to their Beagle parent.

A Frog
Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

A Gecko
Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

A Gerberian Shepsky
Gerberian Shepsky

German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Gerberian Shepskies are all popular choices for police dogs.

A Gerbil
Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

A German Pinscher
German Pinscher

Highly intelligent and fast learners!

A German Shepherd Guide
German Shepherd Guide

Highly active and fearless dogs!

A German Sheppit
German Sheppit

The German Sheppit is well-suited for guarding and police work.

A German Sheprador
German Sheprador

There is a chance that the German Sheprador may inherit a love for water from its parent.

A German Spitz
German Spitz

There are five different sub-breeds of the German Spitz.

A Giant Schnauzer
Giant Schnauzer

Large, powerful and dominant!

A Giant Schnoodle
Giant Schnoodle

Both parents of the Giant Schnoodle are hypoallergenic, making this one of the Doodle breeds that's safest for dander-sensitive owners.

A Glechon
Glechon

Glechons are talented in the area of search and rescue, as their sense of smell makes them great at tracking.

A Glen Of Imaal Terrier
Glen Of Imaal Terrier

This dog is also named the Wicklow Terrier after the county of its origin.

A Goberian
Goberian

These dogs are great around children and are very playful around them.

A Goldador
Goldador

Goldadors were not intentionally bred until the early 2000s!

A Golden Dox
Golden Dox

Golden doxes don't have to be tiny. This breed looks different depending on whether the mix includes a regular dachshund or the mini version of the species.

A Golden Newfie
Golden Newfie

These dogs love to swim and instinctively know how to swim.

A Golden Pyrenees
Golden Pyrenees

Golden Pyrenees make great therapy dogs due to their intelligence and gentle nature.

A Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever

Trusting, kind and gentle!

A Golden Saint
Golden Saint

Golden saints come in all kinds of colors. You can find them in tan, chocolate, yellow, brindled, spotted, and almost any other pattern you can think of.

A Golden Shepherd
Golden Shepherd

The Golden Shepherds were first recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry in 2009.

A Goldendoodle
Goldendoodle

Due to their breeding, no two Goldendoodles are alike.

A Gouldian Finch
Gouldian Finch

The male Gouldian finch bobs its head and fluffs its feathers to court a female.

A Great Dane
Great Dane

Large and imposing in appearance!

A Great Danoodle
Great Danoodle

Both Great Danes and Poodles are in the top 15 most popular AKC breeds - which makes Great Danoodles a shoo-in for popularity.

A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Protective and gentle by nature!

A Greenland Dog
Greenland Dog

Strong and speedy breed of dog!

A Greyhound
Greyhound

Extremely fast and athletic!

A Griffonshire
Griffonshire

Griffonshires are so little they are easily mistaken for puppies throughout their lives.

A Guinea Pig
Guinea Pig

Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!

A Hamster
Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

A Harrier
Harrier

Cheerful, tolerant and sweet-tempered!

A Havanese
Havanese

These are the only dogs that are native to Cuba

A Havapoo
Havapoo

The exact appearance of a Havapoo can vary based on whether the genes of its Poodle or Havanese parent are more dominant.

A Havashire
Havashire

Both of the Havashire’s parent breeds were very popular among the upper classes.

A Himalayan
Himalayan

Also known as the Colourpoint Persian!

A Horgi
Horgi

Horgis have a silly side and love to be the center of attention.

A House Finch
House Finch

The house finch can become redder depending on what it eats

A Huskador
Huskador

Huskadors are gaining in popularity as service dogs.

A Husky Jack
Husky Jack

Due to the mix of genes, a Husky Jack’s coat may be a variety of colors including black, gray, white, red, sable, or mixed colors.

A Huskydoodle
Huskydoodle

Huskydoodles are known for their jumping abilities!

A Ibizan Hound
Ibizan Hound

Intelligent, active and engaging by nature!

A Iguana
Iguana

Uses visual signals to communicate!

A Irish Doodle
Irish Doodle

Irish Doodles can be very active dogs, but they also love just hanging out with their family members in the house.

A Irish Setter
Irish Setter

Can live for up to 16 years!

A Irish Terrier
Irish Terrier

An average 300 Irish Terrier puppies are born each year in the United States.

A Irish WolfHound
Irish WolfHound

Sweet-tempered, patient and thoughtful!

A Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is a miniature dog with a big motor and personality!

A Jack Russell
Jack Russell

Intelligent, athletic and fearless!

A Jackabee
Jackabee

The Jackabee has an excellent sense of smell.

A Japanese Chin
Japanese Chin

Alert, intelligent and independent!

A Japanese Terrier
Japanese Terrier

Japanese Terriers are also called Nippon Terriers

A Javanese
Javanese

Features that closely resemble a Siamese cat!

A Keel-Billed Toucan
Keel-Billed Toucan

It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!

A Keeshond
Keeshond

Friendly, alert dogs that are loyal to their owners

A Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier

They are born black, and turn gray-blue as they age.

A Kooikerhondje
Kooikerhondje

If Kooikerhondjes look familiar, it’s because old Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Jan Steen liked to paint them.

A Koolie
Koolie

The name "koolie" comes from the German mispronunciation of "collie."

A Kuvasz
Kuvasz

Ownership of this dog was once restricted to the Hungarian nobility

A Labmaraner
Labmaraner

Loves to participate in activities.

A Labradane
Labradane

Labradanes can come with both sold-color coats and the more exciting patterns that you typically see on Great Danes.

A Labradoodle
Labradoodle

Friendly and energetic mix-breed!

A Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever

Well-balanced, friendly and versatile!

A Labraheeler
Labraheeler

These dogs have medium-sized pendant ears.

A Lakeland Terrier
Lakeland Terrier

These dogs were once used by farmers to keep foxes away from herds of sheep.

A Lhasapoo
Lhasapoo

A Lhasapoo’s coat can be curly like a poodle’s or long and silky like a Lhasa Apso’s.

A Lizard
Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

A Loach
Loach

Have sharp spines below their eyes

A Lorikeet
Lorikeet

The lorikeet has a long brush-like tongue with fine hairs on it

A Macaw
Macaw

The largest species of parrot in the world!

A Maine Coon
Maine Coon

Folklore says it's half cat, half raccoon!

A Malteagle
Malteagle

Malteagles are one of the smallest beagle hybrids and love to follow their owners everywhere.

A Maltese
Maltese

Originally bred in Europe!

A Maltese Shih Tzu
Maltese Shih Tzu

Both parent breeds, the Maltese and Shih Tzu, once entertained royalty

A Maltipoo
Maltipoo

Maltipoos may have one of three different coat types depending on the specific genes they inherit from their parents. These include silky, curly, or wavy.

A Manchester Terrier
Manchester Terrier

Fences are no match for Manchester terriers. They’re great escape artists!

A Mastador
Mastador

The Mastador gets its enormous size from its Mastiff parent

A Mastiff
Mastiff

Courageous, calm and affectionate!

A Meagle
Meagle

The Meagle has an incredible sense of smell.

A Mini Labradoodle
Mini Labradoodle

The first mini labradoodle was bred in the early 1990s - almost immediately after standard labradoodles became popular.

A Miniature Bull Terrier
Miniature Bull Terrier

This dog has a very happy-go-lucky temperament.

A Mongrel
Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

A Monitor Lizard
Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

A Morkie
Morkie

A Morkie puppy can weigh as little as 4 ounces.

A Mountain Feist
Mountain Feist

Mountain Feists were bred in the southern United States as a dog that could help with hunting small game.

A Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove

It is almost always the male who makes the famous sad sound, which is a wooing call

A Mouse
Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

A Myna Bird
Myna Bird

For a nice price, the mynah bird makes a good pet.

A Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff

Fearless and extremely protective of it's home!

A Newfoundland
Newfoundland

Introduced by Vikings more than 1,000 years ago!

A Newfypoo
Newfypoo

Newfypoos have a thick oily coat that can be hard to groom.

A Norfolk Terrier
Norfolk Terrier

Fearless but not aggressive!

A Norwegian Forest
Norwegian Forest

Has a long, thick double coat of fur!

A Norwich Terrier
Norwich Terrier

Though Norwich terriers are small, they have a reputation for being feisty.

A Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdog

Intelligent, sociable and playful!

A Otterhound
Otterhound

Otterhounds have webbed feet making them great swimmers!

A Parrot
Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

A Parson Russell Terrier
Parson Russell Terrier

The root stock of the breed was a dog named Trump

A Patterdale Terrier
Patterdale Terrier

A Patterdale Terrier’s small body structure allows it to squeeze into fox burrows.

A Peagle
Peagle

Peagles enjoy being the center of attention. This can make them a very entertaining breed to own.

A Peekapoo
Peekapoo

Peekapoos were first bred in the 1950’s, making them one of the first designer dog breeds.

A Pekingese
Pekingese

Thought to be over 2,000 years old!

A Persian
Persian

Thought to have originated in the Middle East!

A Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

A small dog with a big, lively personality.

A Petite Goldendoodle
Petite Goldendoodle

Like their purebred parents, these dogs love the water!

A Pitador
Pitador

There are several names for this breed, including the Labrabull or the Pitador Retriever.

A Pitsky
Pitsky

Most Pitskies will do best as the only pet in a home. They may become aggressive with other dogs (especially two unneutered male dogs) and could try to chase or catch small pets due to their higher prey drive.

A Pocket Beagle
Pocket Beagle

Queen Elizabeth I of England once owned several Pocket Beagles

A Pointer
Pointer

An independent, loyal and high energy breed!

A Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Despite having shaggy hair that covers its eyes, this dog is known for its watchful gaze when guarding a herd.

A Pomapoo
Pomapoo

Pomapoos like companionship and do not like being alone. They may do better in a home with other dogs.

A Pomeagle
Pomeagle

Pomeagles are sweet and fun dogs that like to spend time exploring their environment.

A Pomeranian
Pomeranian

The ancestors of the Pomeranian were sled dogs.

A Pomsky
Pomsky

The howls and barks of a Pomsky can sound like singing

A Poochon
Poochon

The Poochon was first bred in Australia.

A Poodle
Poodle

Intelligent, alert and active!

A Poogle
Poogle

The Poogle is one of 40 different doodle dog breeds (poodle mixes).

A Pudelpointer
Pudelpointer

Like their poodle parent, Pudelpointers love to swim in pools!

A Pug
Pug

Fun and sociable, yet stubborn!

A Pugapoo
Pugapoo

The pugapoo is the fusion of a pug and a poodle.

A Puggle
Puggle

These dogs are active and are often patient around children.

A Pugshire
Pugshire

With their incredible desire to show affection, Pugshire make great lap dogs.

A Purple Finch
Purple Finch

The intensity of the plumage can change based on what the bird eats

A Pyrador
Pyrador

Most popular as a companion pet

A Pyredoodle
Pyredoodle

Pyredoodles can have a thick double coat or a thinner single coat.

A Rabbit
Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

A Ragdoll
Ragdoll

One of the larger breeds of domestic cat!

A Raggle
Raggle

Raggles are known for their energy and curiosity.

A Rat
Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

A Rat Terrier
Rat Terrier

Rat terriers were popular with farmers before 1930 because of their ability to kill rodents.

A Red Finch
Red Finch

Red finches can form flocks of over 100 birds.

A Red Knee Tarantula
Red Knee Tarantula

Inhabits the Pacific Mountains of Mexico!

A Rottsky
Rottsky

Many Rottskies have one brown eye and one blue eye.

A Rottweiler
Rottweiler

Strong, loyal and self-assured!

A Russell Terrier
Russell Terrier

The Russell Terrier was bred to be a good fox hunter with a keen sense of smell

A Russian Bear Dog
Russian Bear Dog

The bite of a Russian Bear Dog is stronger than a lion’s bite.

A Russian Blue
Russian Blue

First brought to the UK in the 1800s!

A Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard

Gentle, loyal and friendly!

A Saint Shepherd
Saint Shepherd

These dogs have an eager-to-please attitude, making them sweet and happy pets.

A Schneagle
Schneagle

This hybrid dog is a great companion and doesn’t do well being left alone but is suitable for apartments or houses with backyards!

A Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terrier

This breed is nicknamed the “Diehard” because of its iron will and steely determination.

A Sealyham Terrier
Sealyham Terrier

Very endangered breed that is scion of several breeds that include one that is already extinct

A Sheepadoodle
Sheepadoodle

Sheepadoodles were first bred as an experiment for use as a military dog in the Army in the 1960s, however they didn’t really gain popularity until 2007.

A Shepadoodle
Shepadoodle

Some police officers with allergies use Shepadoodles as their K-9 partner

A Shepkita
Shepkita

These dogs can sometimes be overly aggressive.

A Shepweiler
Shepweiler

The Shepweiler is an excellent guard dog.

A Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are one of six native dog breeds from Japan.

A Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu

Can live for up to 15 years!

A Shollie
Shollie

Shollies are a fairly new type of crossbreed!

A Shrimp
Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

A Siamese
Siamese

Originated from temple cats in Thailand!

A Siamese Fighting Fish
Siamese Fighting Fish

Can live in low-oxygen environments!

A Siberian
Siberian

An exceptionally agile jumper!

A Siberian Husky
Siberian Husky

Is adequately warm in sub-zero temperatures!

A Siberian Retriever
Siberian Retriever

Many husky Labs have one blue eye and one brown eye.

A Siberpoo
Siberpoo

Although a lack of documentation makes it unclear, the first Siberpoo was probably bred in either the 1970s or 1980s.

A Silky Terrier
Silky Terrier

Silky terriers can be trained to participate in many events, including herding, agility, rally, tracking and fly ball.

A Silver Labrador
Silver Labrador

The Labrador is the most popular breed in the United States and most of these dogs have blue eyes at a young age, before they turn another color.

A Skye Terrier
Skye Terrier

Skye terriers are the oldest terrier breed, dating back at least 400 years.

A Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth Fox Terrier

These dogs are known for their fast digging abilities.

A Snake
Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

A Snorkie
Snorkie

Snorkies are known for their funny, attention-getting antics.

A Snowshoe
Snowshoe

Thought to have originated in the 1960s!

A Somali
Somali

Active, intelligent and playful!

A Spanador
Spanador

The Spanador is a good swimmer.

A Spanish Mastiff
Spanish Mastiff

Diego Velázquez’s famous 17th century painting of the Infanta and her dwarves includes a portrait of a Spanish Mastiff.

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Known for their loyalty to their family!

A Taco Terrier
Taco Terrier

Taco terriers are known by a variety of names, including the Chitoxy Toy and the Chiwoxy.

A Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Often just called 'Teddies' by owners

A Tenterfield Terrier
Tenterfield Terrier

These terriers have quick minds and fast feet making them excellent for agility competitions.

A Terrier
Terrier

Terriers were once the greatest dogs in the world.

A Texas Heeler
Texas Heeler

Though they are loyal to their family, these dogs can be shy around strangers.

A Thai Ridgeback
Thai Ridgeback

In their native Thailand, Thai Ridgebacks were used to hunt cobras.

A Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Originally bred in the Himalayan mountains!

A Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniel

Originally bred to be a companion dog in Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries.

A Tibetan Terrier
Tibetan Terrier

Tibetan terriers have round, flat, “snow shoe” feet that evolved to give them traction on snowy Himalayan paths

A Tiffany
Tiffany

Eye color intensifies with age!

A Torkie
Torkie

The Torkie has a soft silky coat

A Toucan
Toucan

There are more than 40 different species!

A Toy Fox Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier

Hunters still use the toy fox to go into a fox's den and flush the animal out.

A Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle

The word poodle is derived from German, and it means to splash or puddle.

A Turkish Angora
Turkish Angora

A breed that originated in central Turkey!

A Weimardoodle
Weimardoodle

This dog is also known as the Weimarpoo, the Weimaranerpoo, and the Weimaranerdoodle.

A Welsh Corgi
Welsh Corgi

There are two distinct breeds!

A Welsh Terrier
Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier has the strength and tenacity to take on foxes and badgers.

A West Highland Terrier
West Highland Terrier

Most commonly white in colour!

A Westiepoo
Westiepoo

This dog is known for cocking its head in a curious manner when listening to its owner.

A Wheaten Terrier
Wheaten Terrier

Originally bred as a farm dog, the Wheaten Terrier can be very protective of its domain.

A Whippet
Whippet

Quiet, gentle and restful dogs!

A Whoodle
Whoodle

Whoodles are good swimmers

A Wire Fox Terrier
Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier was bred from the now extinct Rough Coated Black and Tan Terrier to hunt down foxes.

A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s coat makes it look like it has a mustache and beard!

A Yakutian Laika
Yakutian Laika

The Yakute people were likely the first to use dogs to pull sleds, so the Yakutian Laika was probably among the first sled dogs.

A Yoranian
Yoranian

These dogs are very intelligent and are great with children.

A Yorkie Bichon
Yorkie Bichon

Yorkie Bichons can come in a wide range of colors including black, white, blonde, gray, golden, or dark brown.

A Yorkie Poo
Yorkie Poo

The Yorkie-Poo originated from the hybrid poodle phase of the late 20th century

A Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Highly energetic and eager for adventure!

A Zebra Finch
Zebra Finch

The male zebra finch creates a unique song by drawing inspiration from its parent or tutor

Big List of Pets

Pets FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals can be kept as pets?

Many animals can be kept as pets! The most common pet choices are dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and fish. There are less common pet types as well that include amphibians, snakes, and other exotic creatures.

What are the most popular types of pets?

Dogs, cats, rodents, birds, and fish are the five most popular pets to own.

What is a good first pet?

A good first pet is one that is easy to care for. Some examples include dogs, cats, goldfish, hamsters, gerbils, and parakeets.

Starting out with a low-maintenance pet gives an owner the opportunity to learn more about the requirements of their care. Once an owner gains more confidence, he or she can try to keep a pet that needs a more advanced level of care.

What are the easiest pets to own?

Fish, birds, and rodents are the easiest pets to own.

How long do different types of pets live?

Some pets live a very long time. For instance, some dogs live from 10 to 15 years depending on the breed. Cats can also live to be 15 years old or more.

Alternatively, some pets are known to live a relatively short time. For instance, betta fish may only live for three years. Hamsters live for just one to two years while guinea pigs can live from four to six years.

It’s best to research how long a particular type of pet is predicted to live before committing to its care. For instance, some parrots can live to be 50 years old! People who own animals that live a long time such as parrots and turtles must make arrangements for someone to care for the pet if necessary.