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A Detailed Guide to the Most Popular Domestic Pets  

Animal lovers across the world are absolutely obsessed with their pets, and rightly so. Bringing an animal into your home and including them as a fully-fledged member of your family is a privilege and honor, and it’s particularly heartwarming when you rescue a homeless animal from a charity, rather than purchasing from a breeder.

So, whether you’re considering your next furry, feathered or even scaly pet, or else you’re just interested in why so many people are crazy about animals, then either way, this article is for you. Here’s a detailed guide to the most popular domestic pets.

Dogs

The most popular of all household pets, the dog is truly deserving of the accolade “man’s best friend”.

Just like all other animals on planet earth, dogs don’t care what you look like, how much money you have, or how talkative you feel like being, and instead only want to spend time with you, love you, and support you.

Although this selflessness is a core characteristic of dogs, it’s essential to carefully consider if you have the time to dedicate to providing a perfect life for any dog that you’re considering bringing into your home.

Not only should dogs be walked at least once a day (in the case of larger and more energetic dogs, twice or even three times), but veterinary bills can be especially expensive for dog owners, so you would need to be able to dedicate enough money each month for pet insurance.

You’ll often find that people who are clearly the biggest dog lovers you know don’t actually have their own four-legged friend at home themselves, as they know how much time and attention dogs need, and therefore they feel unable to provide this while working every day.

According to a 2024 study by Crufts, the top six most popular breeds of dogs kept as pets in the UK are as follows:

  1. Labrador Retrievers
  2. French Bulldogs
  3. Cocker Spaniels
  4. Dachshunds
  5. Golden Retrievers
  6. Border Collies

If you’re considering purchasing a puppy over rescuing one of the thousands of abandoned dogs looking for a new life in animal charities across the country, it’s your duty to do your research to make sure you’re only buying your dog from a reputable, moral, and registered breeder.

Cats

Always portrayed as the archenemy of dogs the world over, cats are usually incredibly different in nature, instinct, and personality, yet are still the second most popular household pet in both the UK and the US.

Remarkably, evidence suggests that cats were first domesticated in the Middle Ages, over ten thousand years ago, and over the years, there have been hundreds of breeds of cat that have become officially recognized by The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

Cats have a much more independent spirit than any other domesticated pet, and for the emotional health as well as the physical well-being of cats, you should always allow them to roam outside as and when they want to.

Around the world, recent estimations predict that there are around seven hundred and twenty million wild and pet cats in the world, with each individual cat’s nose being the equivalent of a human fingerprint and therefore, entirely unique.

The oldest recorded pet cat, Creme Puff, reached the heights of the Guiness Book of Records on the 6th of August, 2005 when he passed away at the impressive age of thirty-eight. In general, a domesticated cat that is regularly taken to the vet for their injections and fed a healthy and balanced diet will live anywhere between twelve and eighteen years.

Fascinating facts about felines include:

  • Tricolored cats are always female and red cats are usually male
  • The mood of a cat can be inferred by the position of their whiskers
  • Cats naturally sleep for approximately 70% of their life
  • The longest cat on record measured a whopping 49 inches
  • In 1963, a cat named Felicetta traveled into space
  • Domesticated cats can reach speeds of up to 30 mph
  • Cats have 32 separate muscles in one ear alone

Budgerigars

Tiny but mighty, pet budgerigars are incredibly popular throughout the world, and even though many people associate their diminutive stature with a lack of intelligence, they simply couldn’t be more wrong.

Varying in length between five and eleven inches, budgies are the second smallest species of parrot (with the parrotlet being the smallest) and can live for eleven years or more, with the oldest recorded pet budgie just reaching her twentieth birthday.

Like bunny rabbits and other small furry animals, unless you’re someone who spends the vast majority of their time at home, a solo budgie will eventually become lethargic and depressed, so it’s always much better to bring home a pair of budgies instead.

Native to the grasslands and woodlands of the northern Australian regions, budgies in the wild are nearly always a combination of light green, with black dashes and accents on their wings, tail, and head.

Interestingly, and possibly a reason why blue is associated with human males and pink with females, the cere (the small piece of flesh above a budgie’s beak) indicates the bird’s gender.

When bringing home baby budgies, you’ll see they’re much easier to tame and train, with female budgies being much more likely to be more vocal and mimic human speech, as well as anything from the theme to Coronation Street to a phone call between you and your partner.

Keeping a bird inside a cage is cruel, and arguably, tantamount to abuse, so instead if you are considering getting a budgie as a pet, make sure that you have a bird-proofed living room where your budgies can fly freely.

It would be worth noting that, as a general rule, the happier the budgie, the more noise they make, so if you do decide to bring budgies into your home, you’ll definitely need to start having the subtitles on the TV when you’re watching it.

Finally, budgies are exceedingly intelligent and sensitive, and can form strong and intimate bonds with other animals, especially rabbits, with them enjoying the same space, water bowl, and even playing with each other on the floor.

Rabbits

The fourth most popular domesticated pet is the affectionate, complicated, and incredibly cute bunny rabbit, and just like budgies, pet rabbits are much happier and more comfortable when bonded with another.

Perhaps the most misunderstood pet of them all, the rabbit is often incorrectly housed in too-small cages, kept outside in freezing temperatures, and generally abused, often with the owner not realizing.

As with any pet, it’s essential to conduct extensive and thorough research, only from reputable sources, before you even consider rescuing two bunnies from your local animal charity, as there are so many incorrect assumptions that need to be corrected.

Bugs Bunny has done a lot to affect the health of rabbits throughout the Western world, as although there’s nothing tastier to a bunny than a carrot. However, carrots should only be given as an occasional treat and only in small quantities, due to the high sugar content.

Instead, bunny rabbits should have constant access to fresh water in bowls dotted around the home, as well as fresh, high-quality hay of either the meadow or Timothy variety at all times. In addition, you should feed your rabbits a varied diet of different, bunny-safe, green vegetables, and a smaller number of nutritious pellets or nuggets.

At all costs, avoid feeding your rabbit shop-bought cheap rabbit treats and never let your rabbit consume anything containing dairy products, as every single rabbit is naturally lactose-intolerant.

One of the most important tasks that you have ahead of bringing your new bunny rabbit home is to register them with a rabbit-friendly vet and to make sure that, when choosing from the different vets in Sheffield, you select one with at least one vet who has a specific knowledge of bunnies.

Another dangerous misconception of well-meaning rabbit owners is that they’re happy to live in small cages, rarely need to be let out and are just cute, cuddly animals who are great to look at. This will not only mean your rabbit will become depressed and lethargic, but it will also significantly decrease their life span and could even be described as animal abuse.

Instead, at the very least, your rabbits need to be housed in a room that has been entirely bunny-proofed, where there are no exposed wires or other potential hazards, with the aforementioned water and food provisions.

Bunny rabbits are incredibly playful creatures and express themselves and their mood through their interactions and bond with their human companions as well as their bonded partners. Make sure that you provide a wide variety of different toys and bunny-made games to keep their attention, that you clear out their litter tray every single day, and that their room is full of soft bedding and blankets. Rabbits also enjoy sleeping with soft toys and even begin to bond with them, licking them and snuggling up to them over time.


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