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Pair yourself with the perfect pet


January 1, 2020 | View PDF

Courtesy photo – Amazon

Dog or fish? The perfect pairing of pet and people says a lot about our personality.

According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2019 nearly 112 million U.S. households had a bird, cat or dog as an inhabitant. With horses, fish, reptiles, and small animals included in the statistic, more than 65% of homes have a non-human being of some sort living with them.

Homes with dogs outnumber those with cats by a third - 63.2 million versus 42.7 million. Birds are a smidgeon of the statistic at 5.7 million and horses are just 1.6 million.

Experts have learned that our selection of pets says quite a bit about us. Their studies prove that pets are a reflection of us. The animals we choose mean that we - their humans - either are or fancy ourselves to be outgoing, introspective, funny, adventurous, impulsive, and independent for instance. According to the website Quirkology, it's no coincidence that owners often even look like their pets.

The man behind Quirkology, Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, UK, researched 2,500+ pet owners and concluded that pet owners see themselves and their animals as being very analogous when it comes to personality traits such as their levels of sociability and emotional stability, as well as how prone they are to employing a sense of humor.

Wiseman said, "Interestingly, this similarity increased over time, suggesting that pets may slowly come to adopt their owner's personality, or vice versa." That supports the principle that feeling akin to another creature leads to a sense of fondness for them.

Wiseman's Pet Personality Project resulted in some sweeping findings. In the world of guardians of domesticated animals, dog people are the most fun and cat owners tend to be emotionally delicate and reliable. Reptile caretakers do the best on their own and fish possessors are the happiest of the bunch, stating that their pets' antics are very entertaining.

Following its survey of more than 2,000 pet owners, Scientific American (SA) concurred that pets are outward projections of their guardians. SA added some insightful traits when it came to companion animals and their owners. The survey reported bunnies live with owners who tend to see themselves as compassionate and open to new experiences, and if you own a horse, you're more likely to have an assertive personality while also being more inwardly reflective.

According to YourDost, an online mental health support resource, your choice of pets is also rather revealing of your place in the world. For instance, bird owners tend to get along well with others and be very social, while those who live with a reptile need less in the way of touchy-feely interactions. Turtle folks are especially hard workers and snake people are not predictable and tend to pursue unique experiences in life.

A long list of considerations comes into play when pondering adding a new heartbeat to a home. Choosing a pet to fit your lifestyle is the first and foremost deliberation. That primarily takes into account how much space, energy, time, and money you have to give.

Do you live in an apartment or a house with a yard? Do you get out and about most days or are you a homebody?

Dogs, cats, birds, and smaller mammals need loads of love and routine care. Fish and reptiles can go through life with nary a hug, but they're going to need clean places to live and some food tossed their way.

Does a dog that requires grooming sound acceptable? Can you stomach the possibility of cleaning up bodily fluids or feeding living creatures to your pet?

In the category of "just for fun", check out these online resources to whittle down what sort of pet would dovetail well into your life:

Quizrocket: https://www.quizrocket.com/what-pet-quiz

Zimbio - http://www.zimbio.com/quiz/J3S59_tWSS2/Kind+Pet+Right

Quizony - https://www.quizony.com/what-pet-should-you-have/index.html

Once you know your best pet-counterpart, you can refine your search to what breed best suits you. Online guides and pet store employees can help you decide which small mammal or a reptile will work for you based on each animal's specific habits and needs, such as fondness for being handled, type of habitat, and how spunky or shy they tend to be.

If you'd pair well with a dog or cat, lucky you because there's a plethora of online screening resources to figure out if you'd be well matched with a Mastiff or a Maltese, or if your new feline roommate should be a Manx or a Maine Coon.

After answering 21 questions, the Dogtime.com dog breed selector tool (https://dogtime.com/quiz/dog-breed-selector) comes up with five breeds to focus on. For cat seekers, visit http://www.animalplanet.com/breedselector/catselector.do, and you'll be surprised to learn the wide variety of characteristics for each cat breed.

Don't let the full-breed selector results be more than a guideline. There's no need to go to an AKC breeder when there are plenty of nearby humane societies and pet rescues. Mixed breeds are a fun way to get a bit of several personality inclinations. Adopting an adult or elderly cat or dog will have very well-determined personality taking some of the guesswork out of what to expect.

Pets come in many packages and finding the perfect match can lead to a pair of eyes peering through a fishbowl or gazing up while drooling or shedding on your lap. People who share a space in their lives with pets are healthy and content because having a critter gives their guardian a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed. Animals provide companionship, amusement, someone to come home to, and comfort.


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