As the owners of animals that rely on us to take the best care of them, it is important we stay informed about our pets. In a previous article I listed misconceptions that are commonly held about cats and dogs. There is too much misinformation spread about pets for me to have been able to address them all in one article. Here are some more misconceptions about the animals we share our homes with.
1. Fish bowls are good homes for fish.
Fish are often considered low-maintenance pets that can be kept in cute little fish bowls. The truth is a fish bowl is not a good place to keep a fish, even a betta or a goldfish. The size of the bowl makes it hard for the temperature to be regulated. The size also cannot accommodate a filter, which is necessary for the fish to be able to breathe properly and to keep the environment clean. There is no room to swim and the distorted view from the curved glass can stress out the fish. Fish need to be kept in a proper tank, not a bowl.
2. Rabbits are low-maintenance pets.
Many parents get rabbits for their children as cute, low-maintenance pets. However, rabbits actually require quite a lot of maintenance. They need their living space to be cleaned on a daily basis. Every day they need fresh food and water, including fresh, leafy greens. Rabbits also need to go to the vet, just like dogs and cats. If you get a rabbit, please be aware of the responsibilities that come with them.
3. Hamsters can live in small cages.
Hamsters may be small, but they run and explore a lot. They need plenty of space to run and move around. An exercise wheel is good for them, but having one doesn’t mean they can be in a tiny cage. PetMD states a hamster should have a cage of at least 15 inches long and 12 inches tall, but encourages hamster owners to get larger than that. Another site says hamsters should have a cage that is 24 inches long. It is important for your hamster to have plenty of room to run and burrow.
4. Indoor cats won’t get sick.
All pets can get sick, no matter where they’re kept. While indoor cats are less susceptible to disease than an outdoor cat, they can and do get sick and need to be taken to the vet when they do. Even if they aren’t running around outdoors, you bring in outside germs and so do other pets that you might have. If a cat gnaws on a bug or mouse that makes it into your home, they are being exposed to myriad of diseases. Please make sure you cat’s health is being properly taken care of.