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Misc pets

Lovable Pets Come in Many Forms

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

We often write about cats and dogs here at The Paw Print, but we know that pets come in many forms. Although dogs and cats tend to be the two most common household pets in America, the pet world is wide and diverse, and the joy a pet brings into your life feels the same whether it has a tail, scales, fur, or fins. The bond between a pet and its human is a beautiful thing, no matter the species. If you’ve never ventured outside of the dog/cat pet experience, keep reading to see just how similar the bond between pet and its owner is.

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Lovable Pets Come in Many Forms


The phrase “man’s best friend” likely conjures up an image of a dog, but canines aren’t the only loyal companions out there. It can be more difficult to gauge emotional reactions and attachment from reptiles than dogs or cats, but anyone who has ever loved a reptile will tell you that it is certainly possible to bond with a cold-blooded companion. Just like with any other type of pet, the more time you spend nurturing and handling a reptile, the stronger bond you will form with it.


Although there have been relatively few scientific studies focusing on the human-avian bond, many bird owners will tell you that the bond they have with their bird is unlike any other. Why is the bond so intense? Birds have a lifespan similar to humans, meaning a person can spend most of their life with the same pet. Also, the capacity that some birds have for imitating human speech can make them feel more relatable.


According to the 2017-2018 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, fish are the third most common household pet, following dogs and cats. It can be easy to dismiss this aquatic pet’s popularity as convenience-based, and while that might be true in some cases, many fish owners report developing a special bond with their fish. For example, betta fish are able to recognize objects and people, make associations with patterns, and even learn simple tricks.


The close nature of an equine-human relationship certainly lends itself to a unique kind of bond. Through regular riding, grooming, and care, the horse and rider develop a bond deeply rooted in trust. Horses are also known for their seemingly-human antics and personalities, making them especially fun to observe and interact with.

Goats, Donkeys, Cows, and Other Livestock Animals

While impractical for most city-dwellers, it’s not uncommon for rural families to have pets whose species may have been regarded as livestock or working animals decades ago. Although they aren’t typically known to be house pets, goats, donkeys, sheep, and other livestock animals are just as capable as cats and dogs of forming a loving bond with their human caretakers. In fact, according to researchers from Queen Mary University of London, goats are able to communicate and connect with their humans as effectively as cats or dogs.

Small household pets

Gerbils, hamsters, rats, mice, guinea pigs, ferrets, rabbits, and chinchillas tend to get grouped together in the “small pets” category. While there is a wide variety of behaviors and care requirements across the varying species that comprise the “small pets” category, these pets are typically considered good starter-pets for young children or for people who have demanding schedules but still want the companionship of a pet.

From horns to hooves and fins to feathers, there are so many different pets to love! Did your unique pet make the list? Tell us about it here! We would love to hear your stories about how your pet interacts with you and your family.

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