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Style Magazine

Starter Pets

Jul 31, 2008 05:00PM ● By Super Admin

Pet ownership is a rite of passage. In many ways, it’s also a test. Some people are lucky and enjoy one, maybe two pets in their life. These are lifelong friends that become honorary family members. Others, like yours truly, have owned many pets, many of them cats, and many of them unstable (read: deranged), the kind that run away in the dead of night or in the case of my first cat Smokey, are “let loose” on my uncle’s farm. (I’ll leave you to parse that uncomfortable rural euphemism.) Needless to say it took our family a while to accept that we were better off with a dog. In fact, Mindy the dog has been a beloved family member for more than 10 years… with no rural euphemisms in her future. And of course, there are those who have yet to experience the joys of pet ownership.

Whether you’re a tried and tested pet owner or a newbie, one thing is for certain: there are many factors to consider when choosing a new pet. Gone are the days when you went to the pet store and pointed to the cutest animal. Well, those days aren’t necessarily “gone,” it’s just that that method is somewhat ill advised. With animal shelters and rescue homes crowded with abandoned and abused animals, many of them former pets, for the sake and safety of the animals in question, we can no longer afford to practice the “point and shoot” method of pet selection. Understanding animal breeds and their suitability to the owner’s home environment is one of the most important first steps, before even deciding on a pet.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy guide for those of you who may be considering a new pet, or it can be an inspiration for those of you who don’t think that you need a pet. Read on, and remember: choose wisely!...

For more pet picking ideas, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at [email protected], or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.