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.
Popular Pets: The Pros and Cons
Some pets are particularly popular in the United States. Look at some of the pros and cons of each one.
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.
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
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 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
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
Some pets are considered exotic pets because they need special care to stay healthy. Some examples include:
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
The oldest breed of cat in the world!
First bred in 17th century Germany!
First used as a shepherd and hunter!
This dog has a thick coat of fur despite its origins in Morocco, a country known for its hot temperatures.
An innate sense of direction!
Very intelligent, independent and strong-minded!
This is a great pooch for rough-housing and one-to-one.
Often used as a guard dog!
Very clean, intelligent and loyal!
The Akita Shepherd descends from a lineage of working dogs.
The Alabai’s genes indicate that this breed has been around for more than 5,000 years.
The Alaskan Husky is one of the most common sled dogs in the world
The Alaskan Klee Kai is very vocal and isn't shy when communicating with his family.
This dog’s Malamute ancestors once came to America across the Bering Strait.
Good companion and hard-working breed!
Alusky dogs are known for their sledding pulling skills.
These parrots can be trained to be "talking birds" that mimic human speech
Merry, outgoing, and eager to please!
Easygoing and people-friendly!
The American Eskimo has splendid all white fur and an upturned tail
Sweet, kind, loyal, and very loving!
The American hairless terrier comes in two varieties with one having a very short coat.
This breed is also known as the American Leopard Cur. The name was formally changed to American Leopard Hound in 2008.
These dogs are very energetic and would be up for a game at any given point of time
American Pugabulls are medium-sized dogs that weigh between 25 to 70 pounds, and their height measures 12 to 20 inches at the shoulder.
Bred to be extremely friendly!
Friendly and intelligent!
Guards it's master's flocks!
Was created as an accident.
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.
The breed has its own popular Instagram page (Aussiedoodles Daily)!
Aussiedors come in black, brown, cream, yellow, and almost every imaginable color due to their parentage!
The Aussie is a strong swimmer, a good workout in nice weather.
High energy levels and active minds!
Friendly, intelligent and energetic!
The "Australian" just refers to where the breed originated
The Australian Retriever may have two different eye colors.
Sweet, faithful and affectionate!
Spirited, alert and courageous!
Playful and energetic breed!
This dog has the nickname ‘Mud dog’ because it likes to play in muddy, swamp-like areas.
Alert, affectionate and energetic!
This dog is also known as a Bassetdor or a Basset Lab.
A friendly and intelligent hunting dog that loves nothing more than to spend time with its owner.
Forget the training when not rewarded!
Basset hounds have been around since the 7th century, but the bassetoodle made its first appearance in the 2000s.
The Bea-Tzu has a fast-growing coat
An excellent companion for cats!
Beagadors like to dig, so make sure your garden has a good fence around it.
Have become popular family pets!
This dog can perform a wide range of exotic and acrobatic tricks that are not expected of a dog this size.
These dogs have great sniffer abilities
Beagos are good swimmers like their Golden Retriever parent.
Weekly brushing is mandatory!
Can grow to up 24 inches long!
Beaskis love to play, so get ready to go on plenty of long walks.
The Beauceron is named after the place of its origin (Beauce) in France
Highly active and intelligent dogs!
The sheepdog is also known as the Groenendael. All four Belgian varieties have nicknames for Belgian villages.
The first breed to win an AKC Herding Championship.
Bergamascos are excellent problem solvers; they were bred to be independent as they work alongside their nomadic shepherd owners.
Berger means shepherd in French
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.
Very loyal, faithful and affectionate!
Bernese shepherds prefer cool climates
Can live in low-oxygen environments!
Gentle mannered, playful and affectionate!
Despite its small size, the alert nature and sharp bark of this canine make it a good watch dog.
A toy terrier dog and is elegant and tri-colored.
Also known as the Sacred Cat of Burma!
This dog has its own unique howl.
Confident, calm and highly intelligent!
The tiny bladefin basslet belongs to the same subfamily as the giant grouper, Epinephelinae.
Affectionate, gentle and even-tempered!
Originated in Texas in the mid 1800s!
The Blue Picardy is also known as the Epagneul Bleu de Picardie in French
Has an uncanny knack for problem-solving!
Boggles at animal rescues are often mistaken for pitbulls because they have a similar facial structure.
Boglen terriers are also occasionally known as boggles.
From the northern Italian city of Bologna!
Bred to look like a black panther!
Boradors make excellent police dogs and are used often on search and rescue missions.
Highly intelligent and alert breed!
Small, rough-coated breed of terrier!
Bordoodles are much quieter than other Doodles and require far less exercise.
Most Borkies inherit the signature howl of their Beagle parent.
Friendly, lovable and very strong!
The name Bouvier des Flandres means cowherd of Flanders in French
Boxadors are extremely smart and catch onto backyard games very quickly!
Bright, energetic and playful!
The Boxerdoodle has a strong hunting dog lineage.
Boxers were bred to be working war dogs, and their boxsky descendants still love to help out on ranches and other outdoor jobs.
Boxweilers come in a variety of colors, but they usually feature the subtle brindle pattern that their boxer parents are so famous for.
Enthusiastic working dog!
Small body and tri-coloured coat!
The breed was formerly known as the Brittany spaniel
These small, confident dogs have no fear of approaching much larger dogs.
The Brussels Griffon prefers to live with another dog so they have a companion to play with.
Natively found in Australia!
Friendly, loving and docile!
Courageous, loyal and calm!
Adoring, elegant and affectionate!
Intelligent, lively and strong!
Has a strong survival instinct!
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.
Wild dog breed discovered in the 1970s!
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
Catahoula bulldogs are a medium to large-sized breed and weighs between 75 to 100 pounds!
The state of Louisiana's only native dog breed
This breed is called the Gos d’Atura Catala in native Catalan and Pastor Catalan in Spanish, both of which roughly translate to mean Catalan Sheepdog
Females are more territorial than males, but you can train this behavior out of them.
The Cavador is a good service dog.
Highly playful and affectionate!
The temperament of a Cavapoo allows this breed to make an excellent family dog as well as a great therapy dog.
An affectionate hunting dog!
This breed is also known as the Bohemian Terrier (Bohemia was an historical Medieval kingdom and a region of the modern Czech Republic)
Some Cheagles have an excellent sense of smell.
Bright and happy disposition!
Curious and devoted personality!
These dogs have a blue and black tongue.
A calm and friendly breed!
The Chipoo was first bred in the 1970s
Chiweenies travel especially well.
Chorkies are very fond of their owners and will love to sit in their laps for long amounts of time!
Loyal and affectionate to it's family!
The Chow Shepherd is also known as the Sheprachow.
A ferret’s heartrate is 200 to 250 beats a minute.
The Cockalier has very strong hunting ancestry.
Cockapoos became popular in the 1960s as a sweet, family dog.
They have crests that rise or fall depending on their emotions
Highly social, smart, and chatty bird.
Corgidors are herding dogs that typically help out on cattle farms.
These dogs are highly intelligent and are easy to train.
One of the Corkie’s parent breeds, the Cocker Spaniel, was thought to have come over on the Mayflower.
Corman Shepherds can be great watchdogs and are often very protective of their owners.
The soft coat of the Coton de Tulear is the result of a singular genetic mutation early in the breed's development.
A lively and fun-loving breed!
This breed is also known as the Czechoslovakian Vlcak (the name for the German Shepherd).
This hybrid dog is also known as a Doxador or a Weinerdor.
Fun and playful breed of small dog!
Dalmatians were originally bred to run alongside carriages, and their dalmadoodle descendents have the same long legs and high energy.
Dalmador breeding skyrocketed after the 16 release of the live-action 101 Dalmatians movie.
Have an energetic and playful nature!
A Dapple Dachshund’s dappling pattern may be just one spot, or it may be numerous spots and splashes on their coat.
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world.
Has long drop ears and a long narrow tail!
A gentle, loyal and loving breed!
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
Loyal and affectionate to their family!
Extremely loyal and devoted to it's master!
The Dorgi is one of the more popular mixed breed dogs.
Dorkies are so laid-back they sometimes need extra incentive to exercise each day.
Doxiepoos are an unpredictable breed that can come in a variety of appearances and sizes.
Doxles have long floppy ears
Beneath the lizard’s “wings” are a pair of enlarged ribs for support.
Uncommon outside of Europe!
A friendly and relaxed dog!
Does not squawk like other parrot species.
An ancient breed of domestic cat!
Bulldogs were originally bred to “pin” bulls.
Intelligent yet stubborn by nature!
Although their coats can get incredibly light in color, golden retrievers never have purely white coats.
English Foxhounds were bred to work and live in a pack. Because of this, this breed is happiest when they are around other dogs.
English Setters were first bred between 400 and 500 years ago.
Highly intelligent and independent!
Friendly and eager to please!
Native to parts of the Swiss Alps!
Hard-working, gentle and affectionate!
Takes pure delight in cold weather!
Eskipoos are called pookimos by the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and Designer Breed Registry.
Very protective and stubborn!
The word feisty derived from this type of dog.
Found in the African Sahara Desert!
Ferrets can be trained to do tricks like dogs!
A sociable and adaptable breed!
The breed has a unique, cat-like gait, while females have a finer gait than males.
Respire through the gills on their heads!
A game retrieving gun-dog!
The Flowerhorn fish is an artificial species; it does not exist naturally
Formosa is the Portuguese term for the island of Taiwan
First bred in the mid-19th century!
French bulldogs are known to be very sensitive, harboring emotions that they love to express
Loyal small dogs, the Frenchton will keep you warm at night with loving cuddles, but also awake with their funny loud snoring!
Frengles have a haunting howl very similar to their Beagle parent.
There are around 7,000 different species!
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Gerberian Shepskies are all popular choices for police dogs.
Originally known as the Desert Rat!
Highly intelligent and fast learners!
Highly active and fearless dogs!
The German Sheppit is well-suited for guarding and police work.
There is a chance that the German Sheprador may inherit a love for water from its parent.
German Shorthaired Pointers are used by the Air Force, TSA, and other organizations to sniff out explosives.
There are five different sub-breeds of the German Spitz.
Large, powerful and dominant!
Both parents of the Giant Schnoodle are hypoallergenic, making this one of the Doodle breeds that's safest for dander-sensitive owners.
Glechons are talented in the area of search and rescue, as their sense of smell makes them great at tracking.
This dog is also named the Wicklow Terrier after the county of its origin.
These dogs are great around children and are very playful around them.
Goldadors were not intentionally bred until the early 2000s!
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.
These dogs love to swim and instinctively know how to swim.
Golden Pyrenees make great therapy dogs due to their intelligence and gentle nature.
Trusting, kind and gentle!
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.
The Golden Shepherds were first recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry in 2009.
Due to their breeding, no two Goldendoodles are alike.
Goldfish and common carp can mate and produce offspring
It's the largest and heaviest breed of setter.
The male Gouldian finch bobs its head and fluffs its feathers to court a female.
Large and imposing in appearance!
Both Great Danes and Poodles are in the top 15 most popular AKC breeds - which makes Great Danoodles a shoo-in for popularity.
Protective and gentle by nature!
Strong and speedy breed of dog!
Extremely fast and athletic!
Griffonshires are so little they are easily mistaken for puppies throughout their lives.
Although developed as a herding dog, the breed makes an excellent guard and working dog and is used by police forces and the military.
Natively found in the Andes Mountain range!
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Cheerful, tolerant and sweet-tempered!
These are the only dogs that are native to Cuba
The exact appearance of a Havapoo can vary based on whether the genes of its Poodle or Havanese parent are more dominant.
Both of the Havashire’s parent breeds were very popular among the upper classes.
Also known as the Colourpoint Persian!
Known for its bravery and ability to withstand the cold.
Horgis have a silly side and love to be the center of attention.
The house finch can become redder depending on what it eats
Huntaways have a strong instinct for herding.
Huskadors are gaining in popularity as service dogs.
Huskitas prefer a consistent daily routine with lots of activity.
To communicate, Siberian Huskies rarely bark but instead create their own music and howl.
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.
Huskydoodles are known for their jumping abilities!
Intelligent, active and engaging by nature!
The Icelandic Sheepdog is the only dog breed entirely native to Iceland.
Uses visual signals to communicate!
Irish Doodles can be very active dogs, but they also love just hanging out with their family members in the house.
Can live for up to 16 years!
An average 300 Irish Terrier puppies are born each year in the United States.
The only known canine with a purple hue.
Sweet-tempered, patient and thoughtful!
The Italian Greyhound is a miniature dog with a big motor and personality!
Intelligent, athletic and fearless!
The Jackabee has an excellent sense of smell.
Alert, intelligent and independent!
The Japanese Spitz is sometimes referred to as a cloud dog.
Japanese Terriers are also called Nippon Terriers
Features that closely resemble a Siamese cat!
Kai Ken are a very rare breed of dog from Japan, though pure breeds are even harder to come by.
Can run up to 35 miles per hour (56km).
It's beak can reach nearly 20 cm long!
Friendly, alert dogs that are loyal to their owners
They are born black, and turn gray-blue as they age.
This hybrid breed is the largest among the shepherd class.
Once raised to hunt dangerous game like boar, today's kishu ken are more likely to be used as guard dogs.
In Japanese, the word koi sounds like the word for love. So the fish is a symbol of love among other good things.
If Kooikerhondjes look familiar, it’s because old Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Jan Steen liked to paint them.
The name "koolie" comes from the German mispronunciation of "collie."
Ownership of this dog was once restricted to the Hungarian nobility
The AKC does not recognize this breed or the parent breed Catahoula
Loves to participate in activities.
Labradanes can come with both sold-color coats and the more exciting patterns that you typically see on Great Danes.
Friendly and energetic mix-breed!
Well-balanced, friendly and versatile!
These dogs have medium-sized pendant ears.
These dogs were once used by farmers to keep foxes away from herds of sheep.
The name “heeler” comes from the fact that it nips at the heels of cattle to herd them.
This breed is also known as the Lapp Reindeer Dog and the Lapsk Vallhund.
This dog has been used for pulling carts full of goods.
The Lhasa Apso was often given as a gift in Tibetan culture
A Lhasapoo’s coat can be curly like a poodle’s or long and silky like a Lhasa Apso’s.
There are around 5,000 different species!
Have sharp spines below their eyes
Rottweilers have a tendency to snore.
The lorikeet has a long brush-like tongue with fine hairs on it
This breed is also known as the "Little Lion Dog" for their bravery and manes.
The largest species of parrot in the world!
Folklore says it's half cat, half raccoon!
The Malchi is not a purebred but a crossbreed and relatively new on the scene. That’s why they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) or any other canine organization.
Malteagles are one of the smallest beagle hybrids and love to follow their owners everywhere.
Originally bred in Europe!
Both parent breeds, the Maltese and Shih Tzu, once entertained royalty
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.
Fences are no match for Manchester terriers. They’re great escape artists!
The Mastador gets its enormous size from its Mastiff parent
Courageous, calm and affectionate!
The Meagle has an incredible sense of smell.
They can be trained to use the litter box like a cat!
The first mini labradoodle was bred in the early 1990s - almost immediately after standard labradoodles became popular.
This dog has a very happy-go-lucky temperament.
Stable rodents were kept in check by using it as a barnyard ratter.
Has characteristics of two or more breeds!
Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!
A Morkie puppy can weigh as little as 4 ounces.
This Molosser-type dog is the Russian cousin of St. Bernard.
Mountain Feists were bred in the southern United States as a dog that could help with hunting small game.
It is almost always the male who makes the famous sad sound, which is a wooing call
Found on every continent on Earth!
Mudi dogs have a reputation for being able to control a herd of 500 sheep.
For a nice price, the mynah bird makes a good pet.
Fearless and extremely protective of it's home!
Introduced by Vikings more than 1,000 years ago!
Newfypoos have a thick oily coat that can be hard to groom.
Fearless but not aggressive!
The Norwegian Buhund once worked on Norse homesteads
This breed traveled with the Vikings!
Has a long, thick double coat of fur!
This breed is also called the Norsk Lundehund and the Norwegian Puffin Dog
Though Norwich terriers are small, they have a reputation for being feisty.
The Toller is one of only two breeds that hunters use as decoys while hunting.
Intelligent, sociable and playful!
The Oscar fish has teeth in its throat!
Otterhounds have webbed feet making them great swimmers!
Originally called the Toy Spaniel, the Papillon is one of the oldest breeds in the toy group. They can be found in artwork dating back to the 16th century.
Can live for up to 100 years!
The root stock of the breed was a dog named Trump
Parti Schnauzers are great pest controllers. They were bred to catch rodents, so if you have a rat problem, they might be the pet for you.
A Patterdale Terrier’s small body structure allows it to squeeze into fox burrows.
Peagles enjoy being the center of attention. This can make them a very entertaining breed to own.
Peekapoos were first bred in the 1950’s, making them one of the first designer dog breeds.
Thought to be over 2,000 years old!
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth II
The peppermint angelfish was only first described in 1992.
The breed has feet like a cat, with rounded toes that are not too close together. His unique feet give him a distinctive, long, elastic stride.
Thought to have originated in the Middle East!
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is the national dog of Peru
A small dog with a big, lively personality.
Like their purebred parents, these dogs love the water!
It is a myth that pit bulls have locking jaws.
There are several names for this breed, including the Labrabull or the Pitador Retriever.
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.
Queen Elizabeth I of England once owned several Pocket Beagles
The smaller size of the Pocket Pitbull made it better suited for fleeing game as compared to larger Foxhounds.
An independent, loyal and high energy breed!
Despite having shaggy hair that covers its eyes, this dog is known for its watchful gaze when guarding a herd.
This gigantic breed is known for its guardian skills, but they are non-aggressive and always manage to stay calm towards people and animals.
Pomapoos like companionship and do not like being alone. They may do better in a home with other dogs.
A deliberate cross like the Pomchi is commonly referred to as a designer dog
Pomeagles are sweet and fun dogs that like to spend time exploring their environment.
The ancestors of the Pomeranian were sled dogs.
The howls and barks of a Pomsky can sound like singing
The Poochon was first bred in Australia.
Intelligent, alert and active!
The Poogle is one of 40 different doodle dog breeds (poodle mixes).
Like their poodle parent, Pudelpointers love to swim in pools!
Fun and sociable, yet stubborn!
The pugapoo is the fusion of a pug and a poodle.
These dogs are active and are often patient around children.
With their incredible desire to show affection, Pugshire make great lap dogs.
Pumik developed their loud bark to communicate with shepherds at long distances.
The intensity of the plumage can change based on what the bird eats
Most popular as a companion pet
Pyredoodles can have a thick double coat or a thinner single coat.
There are more than 50 different species!
Often referred to as "puppy-like," Ragamuffin cats are intelligent, friendly and super personable.
One of the larger breeds of domestic cat!
Raggles are known for their energy and curiosity.
Omnivores that eat anything!
Rat terriers were popular with farmers before 1930 because of their ability to kill rodents.
Red finches can form flocks of over 100 birds.
Inhabits the Pacific Mountains of Mexico!
Originally bred to track raccoons.
Will mate with the entire flock!
Many Rottskies have one brown eye and one blue eye.
Strong, loyal and self-assured!
The Russell Terrier was bred to be a good fox hunter with a keen sense of smell
The bite of a Russian Bear Dog is stronger than a lion’s bite.
First brought to the UK in the 1800s!
According to the American Kennel Club, the German Shepherd is the second most popular breed in the United States
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
Gentle, loyal and friendly!
These dogs have an eager-to-please attitude, making them sweet and happy pets.
The Saluki is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world.
Schipperkes were used to hunt and kill rodents on Belgian ships.
This hybrid dog is a great companion and doesn’t do well being left alone but is suitable for apartments or houses with backyards!
This breed is nicknamed the “Diehard” because of its iron will and steely determination.
Very endangered breed that is scion of several breeds that include one that is already extinct
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.
Some police officers with allergies use Shepadoodles as their K-9 partner
These dogs can sometimes be overly aggressive.
The Shepweiler is an excellent guard dog.
Shiba Inus are one of six native dog breeds from Japan.
Can live for up to 15 years!
Shollies are a fairly new type of crossbreed!
There are 2,000 different species worldwide!
Originated from temple cats in Thailand!
An exceptionally agile jumper!
Is adequately warm in sub-zero temperatures!
Many husky Labs have one blue eye and one brown eye.
Although a lack of documentation makes it unclear, the first Siberpoo was probably bred in either the 1970s or 1980s.
Silky terriers can be trained to participate in many events, including herding, agility, rally, tracking and fly ball.
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.
Skye terriers are the oldest terrier breed, dating back at least 400 years.
These dogs are known for their fast digging abilities.
There are around 3,000 known species worldwide
Snorkies are known for their funny, attention-getting antics.
Thought to have originated in the 1960s!
Active, intelligent and playful!
The Spanador is a good swimmer.
Diego Velázquez’s famous 17th century painting of the Infanta and her dwarves includes a portrait of a Spanish Mastiff.
Many people believe that because the Sphynx doesn't have a lot of fur, they are easily maintained. However, their upkeep is demanding!
They're one of the oldest hunting breeds on Earth.
It is a versatile, all-around working breed and pet.
Known for their loyalty to their family!
This dog’s facial hair makes it look like it has a beard.
Taco terriers are known by a variety of names, including the Chitoxy Toy and the Chiwoxy.
Often just called 'Teddies' by owners
These terriers have quick minds and fast feet making them excellent for agility competitions.
Terriers were once the greatest dogs in the world.
Though they are loyal to their family, these dogs can be shy around strangers.
In their native Thailand, Thai Ridgebacks were used to hunt cobras.
Originally bred in the Himalayan mountains!
Originally bred to be a companion dog in Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries.
Tibetan terriers have round, flat, “snow shoe” feet that evolved to give them traction on snowy Himalayan paths
Eye color intensifies with age!
The Torkie has a soft silky coat
There are more than 40 different species!
Hunters still use the toy fox to go into a fox's den and flush the animal out.
The word poodle is derived from German, and it means to splash or puddle.
The Transylvanian Hound is also known as the Erdelyi Kopo in Hungarian
Coarse baying cries during the hunt changes at the tree
The breed has several distinctive vocalizations, such as a long, yodeling call when he is on the hunt, and a short repeating bark once he trees his prey. Whining is normal as he anticipates the hunt.
A breed that originated in central Turkey!
Vizsla means searcher or tracker in Hungarian
Almost went extinct before American Eskimo Dog breeders showed interest.
The Weimaraner is nicknamed the gray ghost.
This dog is also known as the Weimarpoo, the Weimaranerpoo, and the Weimaranerdoodle.
There are two distinct breeds!
The Welsh Terrier has the strength and tenacity to take on foxes and badgers.
Most commonly white in colour!
This dog is known for cocking its head in a curious manner when listening to its owner.
Originally bred as a farm dog, the Wheaten Terrier can be very protective of its domain.
Quiet, gentle and restful dogs!
There are two different types of white ferrets!
Whoodles are good swimmers
The Wire Fox Terrier was bred from the now extinct Rough Coated Black and Tan Terrier to hunt down foxes.
A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s coat makes it look like it has a mustache and beard!
The Xoloitzcuintli is the national dog of Mexico
The Yakute people were likely the first to use dogs to pull sleds, so the Yakutian Laika was probably among the first sled dogs.
These dogs are very intelligent and are great with children.
Yorkie Bichons can come in a wide range of colors including black, white, blonde, gray, golden, or dark brown.
The Yorkie-Poo originated from the hybrid poodle phase of the late 20th century
Highly energetic and eager for adventure!
The male zebra finch creates a unique song by drawing inspiration from its parent or tutor
The breed often changes colors throughout its life, with its puppy coat becoming lighter over the first few years of life, then darkening as he ages.
Big List of Pets
Pet Animals 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.