NEWS U CAN USE: Good Pets For Kids

Four Pets That Make Surprisingly Good Companions

 | October 15, 2012 (Reprinted from

Dogs and cats make excellent pets, but so do many other creatures. Let’s take a look at four in particular that make surprisingly good companions. Once you decide on one, DexKnows listings of veterinarians can help you find a doctor that specializes in nontraditional pets.


These intelligent animals bond with their owners, becoming affectionate even, and they love to learn. Birds also need little care, especially when compared with a dog that requires regular pet grooming. A simple water bath once a week and nail trimming when needed takes care of it. Birds also have much longer lives than other pets; some even live to more than 100 years. To learn which type of bird will make the best companion for your situation, visit a store that sells pets and pet supplies and talk with the expert on staff.


Goldfish, beta and cichlids all provide excellent companionship, as they rank as the most playful of fishes. Again, talk with the expert at your local pet supply store to determine which will make the best pet for you; more than 2,000 species exist that can survive in a tank. Fish require an environment and food suited to their particular species, though, and you only want to bring home fish with needs that match the amount of time you have to spend providing care.


Just like dogs and cats, rabbits have distinctive personalities and enjoy being social. They also can be trained to use a litter box, a bonus for those who prefer to keep their animals safe indoors. They groom themselves for the most part, but different types of rabbits require more brushing than others. For example, an Angora rabbit will require daily pet grooming. Inquire at the pet supply store as to the specific care needs of any rabbit you seriously consider to ensure you are prepared.


It’s a wonder more people don’t have ferrets as pets. These intelligent, playful, curious and friendly animals make excellent companions, and they also can be trained to a litter box. You might consider getting two instead of one to start, as ferrets play with each other can make your forget even the worst day at work. Due to their growing popularity, most stores that sell pets and pet supplies can match you with a ferret.

As with all animals, any of the above should be fully researched before bringing one into your home and family situation. For example, families with small children might not want to bring a delicate animal such as a rabbit home, as a big hug can cause bones to break. Talk with both your veterinarian and the appropriate expert at your pet supply store before making a decision.

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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