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Getting A New Pet

Daniela Carrasco, Staff Writer

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Getting new pet can be fun, but many are not aware of the physical and financial responsibilities that come with a pet. Most people want a companion to be with us at the hardest times, but it might not be that simple to just get one. When you adopt a new pet their whole life and well being is dependent on you. Before choosing a pet you will need to do some research on your own. Not knowing what your pet needs before you take it home is one mistake lots of people make.

At a Salt Lake animal shelter, a family once adopted a dog that had a hip problem and had been a stray, so she needed a lot of support. They had her for a week and returned her because she wasn’t house trained and was too much work.  After hearing that, I adopted her knowing that it would be a big responsibility. She still has her hip problem, but her health and behavior has improved because I’ve educated myself on caring for this type of pet. From goldfish to dogs and rodents, any kind of pet will take lots of responsibility.

Goldfish are an easy beginner pet to start with, but it’s not as easy as it may seem. Starting out, one goldfish needs a 30-40 gallon tank. If the tank is too small, their body will stop growing, but their organs will continue to grow. Goldfish have been touted as being able to live in small bowls, which is why they have a reputation of having a short lifespan; however, goldfish can actually live as long as 20 years with the correct care.

You should feed your fish 1-2 times a day and be careful not to overfeed them. Only feed them what they can eat in 1 minute. You need to have a light on them for 8-12 hours each day. They don’t have eyelids, and they don’t really stop swimming, but their bodies sort of hibernate. You can tell when they are resting when you notice a slight change in color and reduced activity. They will stick to one side of the tank. Goldfish don’t like temperatures over 75 degrees and will not eat if the water falls below 50-55 degrees.

The most common goldfish disease is ICH (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis). The fish develop little white spots on their bodies and fins and have difficulty breathing. When this happens, you will need to keep the sick fish separated as they will need more medical care than your healthy fish. Purchase medicine you can pick up at a pet store to care for them.

You need to dog-proof your house before you get a dog  and especially be careful with house plants. Some concerening plants are Sago Palm, Philodendron, Sprenger’s Asparagus Fern, and Dracaena. There are over 700 plants that contain toxic substances that may harm your dog . You need to give the dog a designated area where your dog will be spending most of its time.  An important thing to remember is that dogs need a lot of attention, time to exercise, and plenty of room to roam around.  You will need housing, toys, and grooming supplies. Plan to spend around $600-900 to care for the dog, depending on size. Most dogs need to be fed on a regular schedule. When getting a dog you will need to be sure that you will have time for them. Make sure to give them 30-60 minutes of exercise if you are planing to put them in a cage for a long time.

Parakeets are a good starting bird for beginners but still require lots of responsibility  If you are not able to get more than one, it might not be the bird for you unless you can interact with it throughout the day. Parakeets are sociable birds and enjoy being kept in pairs or groups. The cage size should at least be 25 inches tall. Parakeets fly horizontally rather than upward. You will have to choose a stainless steel or any kind of non-galvanized cage. Parakeets love to climb, so while buying a cage keep in mind to get horizontal bars that allow them to grip on and climb upwards. You will need toys for them. If parakeets get bored, it leads to screaming. If you want to train your parakeet, the best method is to get millet. This is a tiny round seed that is typically white, yellow or golden. With this, they can perch on your finger. Although the birdcage allows them to fly, you should always give it some time out the cage to fly free around your room. Just make sure you have all windows closed, turn off all fans, and keep them off the floor and away from children. Parakeets will sleep approximately ten hours a day but mostly at night. They like the security of being covered, so drape a towel or pillowcase over the cage.

With all this information hopefully you realize what pet might be the one for you and all the responsibility it is to have a pet in your life.

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Getting A New Pet