Maybe, Just Maybe…

By Jacqui Dziak

Maybe you don’t have a pet yet, and you have been thinking about getting one for some time. Maybe, pre-pandemic, you worked too much or had a big commute and you weren’t home enough to care for a pet. Maybe your work situation has changed, and maybe now is the perfect time to find your furry (or scaly) love. As you continue to peruse our adoptable pets, here are a few things to consider as you discern which pet is right for you. Pasadena Humane has more than dogs and cats for adoption, so you might discover you prefer a small critter or perhaps a reptile.

Dogs: Getting a dog can be like welcoming a new child into the house. Dogs can have a big presence!  There are big dogs and little dogs. Young dogs and older dogs. A bigger dog typically needs a bigger yard and a bigger commitment to exercise- which might be just the incentive you are looking for. Smaller dogs take up less physical space but need exercise as well. Big dogs may be better suited for longer hikes. Small dogs might be easier to take places. Young dogs and puppies typically have more energy and require more energy from you. Younger dogs will also likely need training. Some may need to be housebroken, and some may need to learn to walk calmly on a leash. In other words, younger dogs may require more patience. An older dog may be the perfect companion to lounge around with if binge watching is more your speed (no judgement from us).

Cats: Although cats have a reputation for being more “independent” than dogs, cats still require care and attention. You won’t have to walk your cat like you do a dog, but cats also can have a big presence in the house. Not all cats are created equal, so consider what characteristics you may want from your kitty. Do you want a cat that is more aloof, or are you looking for a snuggle buddy? A highly affectionate cat or high-energy cat is happier with a human that can spend time with them playing. If you are looking for someone to share the couch with, consider adopting a quieter or older cat. Long haired cats require more grooming than short haired cats, however both tend to shed. Cats also require a litter box, so be prepared to find a space in your home that your cat can access quite easily.

Rabbits: Another myth buster is rabbits are not starter pets and not an ideal pet for young children. Despite rabbits being so irresistibly cute, they do not like to be picked up or snuggled. Rabbits need a lot of space to exercise and are happiest when they have a room or rooms to run around. They will entertain you and reward you with “zoomies” and “binkies”. You will have to bunny-proof if you choose a rabbit as a pet. They like to chew, and actually need to chew because their teeth grow constantly. You will have to protect your baseboards and electrical cords and provide your rabbit with safe things to chew on. Rabbits require a diet of timothy hay and fresh greens, such as herbs. Rabbits, like cats and dogs, do like to be around their human and are healthiest and happiest when kept indoors. Like cats and dogs, rabbits can live well over a decade.

Smaller critters: If you find rabbits adorable but just don’t have the space to allow them ample hopping and playing room, you may want to consider adopting a smaller critter like a guinea pig, hamster or rat. Guinea pigs can live in a cage, but make sure it is still large enough for them to get ample exercise. Guinea pigs are social and also need time out of the cage to stretch their legs and play. They also are quite vocal and make the most adorable sounds- especially when they smell some yummy treats coming their way. Rats are also very social and also highly intelligent critters. You can even teach your rat some tricks.  Hamsters can live in a smaller space but need wheels and tubes for ample exercise. Also note hamsters are nocturnal, so keep that in mind if you don’t want to listen to their activity during the night. Guinea pigs can live up to six years, while rats and hamsters have a shorter live span.

Still can’t decide? No worries. Pasadena Humane has knowledgeable adoption counselors that can help you choose the right species. Once you determine if you are a cat, dog, rabbit, or small critter parent, adoption counselors can also help you choose the right pet based on your personality and the pet’s personality. We also have reptiles and exotics.  Our counselors can also educate you on owning one of these delicate pets. Continue to peruse our adoptable pets and when you are ready, you can make an appointment with one of our counselors to determine if you would like to finalize your adoption. We will help you every step of the way and do our best to make sure you and your pet are well suited for each other. Maybe, just maybe, now is the perfect time to find your new best friend.