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The Great American Pet


Everyone loves a good pet, and dogs and cats are the most commonly owned household pets. However, they aren’t the only animals that can be called a pet, but there are a few other animals that are almost as popular as canines and felines:

Reptiles — Did you know that American’s own about 13.4 million reptiles? This includes snakes, lizards, and even turtles. Most reptiles are fairly low maintenance, so they don’t require too much work to care for. Just keep them fed, give them enough room to move around in, and they’ll be awesome exotic pets that will be a companion for life! They can live a long time — Iguanas can live up to 20 years — and they won’t be too much work for you to keep.

Horses -­- Horses are some of the most expensive pets to keep, but you can’t really ride any other pets!  There are nearly 14 million horses kept as pets in the U.S., and they can be a whole lot of fun to own. Sure, you’ll have to muck out stables and keep the horses supplied with feed, but imagine how amazing it will be to ride through the countryside on your own horse!

Hamsters and Guinea Pigs — These little creatures have become very popular in the U.S. home, as they are small, furry, and adorable! They also require very little in the way of specialized care,  and they are very easy to handle. They don’t bite, have very little desire to escape from a comfortable cage, and will eat surprisingly little. There are about 1.3 million hamsters owned as pets in the United States today.

Birds — Your home may not have enough space for a toucan or a bird of paradise, but keeping a budgie, a lovebird, or a parakeet can be surprisingly easy!  You can train the bird to stay in your house, eliminating the need to keep it caged. You can even turn a solarium into an aviary, or you can set up a bird garden in your backyard to keep the beautiful, colored creatures! There are about 16 million birds owned in the United States.

Wolfdog -The Wolfdog is the result of mating a wolf (usually a Gray Wolf) and a breed of dog. Wolfdogs are surprisingly popular in the US (about 300,000) despite their exotic nature and temperament. Wolfdogs will need very strict masters and training because their wild instincts could easily take over. Wolfdogs are best suited in the country where they have peace and quiet, and ideally space to be a wolf! Anyone who wants a taste of the wild can only imagine seeing a Wolfdog coming into the house everyday through their pet dog door.

Laws on Exotic Pets

An exotic pet is categorized as any animal that has to be imported into the U.S., and every state has laws regarding ownership of exotic pets. However, the laws govern even pets that can be found in the U.S.. Let’s take a look at a few of these laws:

  • It is illegal to own a raccoon in Colorado, as they are often carriers of disease.
  • Minnesota laws state that bears, exotic cats, and non-human primates cannot be owned and exhibited.
  • California laws prohibit all wild animals from being owned as pets.
  • Delaware requires a permit to own many wild animals, and poisonous snakes and reptiles cannot be owned.
  • Hawaii law prohibits ferrets from being owned as a pet.
  • Nine U.S. states ban primates from being owned as pets.



About Author

Amanda is a blogger, reader, runner, and terrible cook all mixed up in one. Amanda has been writing about subjects that interest her since college. Although the subject matter of her writing changes as often as she changes clothes, the things held constant in her life are her Sunday brunches with mom, hiking in the mountains with Dudley the goldendoodle, and all things Blink 182.

1 Comment

  1. Some great info about pets other than dogs and cats. Reptiles are a good option for families who can’t have pet hair in the home. There are some fantastic kinds of pets that can fit well into a family. Be sure to research the new pet before making a decision however. Thanks!

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This post contains affiliate links, which means we earn a commission for sales referred from links on our site. We're also Amazon Associates, so we may earn from those qualifying purchases, too. Learn more!