Three Unique Pets that are More Sociable Than You Might Think
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The word “pet” usually conjures up images of soft, furry little creatures like dogs and cats, but did you know that there are over 1.5 million households in the US that own fish, reptiles, or other mammals? Or that some 32,600 homes keep a pet ferret? If one thing is clear from our pet choices, it is the fascination with which human beings view all wildlife, including those that are scaly, cold-blooded and a little more aloof. If the idea of an original pet appeals and you are willing to put in the work and obtain required veterinary care for the new addition to the family, the following pets may inspire you to think about making your dream a reality.
Axolotls: An Easy Pet to Own
Axolotls look like salamanders yet they have a beautiful whitish/pinkish hue and they live in aquariums. They are easy to care for. All they need is a good filter, frequent water changes, and a correct diet (comprising bloodworms, ground beef, and shrimp). They can be very friendly, rushing to the glass when they see you and eating from your hand. The key to building a close relationship with your axolotl is to interact with it frequently, resting it on the palm of your hand and feeding it its favorite treats!
In general, snakes do better living in the wild, since no captive environment can compare to a snake’s natural habitat. Still, many people choose to adopt snakes and make them pets in an attempt to give them a good life (since domesticated snakes do not survive in the wild). If you decide to take a snake home, it is important to know that it will require specific temperatures, humidity levels, space, and feeding schedules to thrive. Some snakes are particularly well known for their sociability. Garter snakes, for instance, prefer to hang out together, so if you decide to adopt one, consider taking two instead. To bond with your snake, earn its trust and remember that it can be shy at first. Some snakes don’t mind being gently petted but you need to observe their reactions. Does your snake enjoy staying in your hand or rubbing against you or is it a better friend to those of its species?
Hedgehogs and Handling
Hedgehogs may be filled with quills but they have a super soft, furry underbelly which they can enjoy having rubbed. The key to getting closer to your hedgehog is to be patient and to handle them frequently. Let them get used to your scent by putting something that smells like you in their cage. Place them on your lap when you wish to handle them. If they raise their quills, they may not be in the mood for affection just yet. Spend time with them, take them outside, and wrap them up in a blanket when it is cold. Feed your pet at regular times so it comes to associate your arrival at certain times of the day with filling its belly and enjoying gentle affection.
The most popular pets in the US are still dogs and cats. However, a large number of households also have reptiles and smaller mammals. Axolotls, garter snakes, and hedgehogs are more sociable than they are given credit for, but the key to bonding with them is to “read their body language” and let them take the lead in your unique friendship.
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