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Cats and dogs may not be the best pets, claims a new study

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Posted on August 9, 2016: When asked which animal makes the best household pet, most would reply either with cats or dogs. New research, however, refutes this claim. A team of animal welfare researchers from Wageningen University in Netherlands suggests that animal lovers may need to reconsider their companion animal options. Dr. Paul Koene has formulated a method to analyze how suitable various mammals are as domestic pats. The research findings were published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

Approximately 90 species were accessed and ranked on the basis of certain traits like how they conduct themselves in captivity, the kind of care needed to keep them in optimum health and how perilous they may be to humans. Numerous encyclopaedias were also intensively consulted in this research.  

So which animal makes the best pet?

The result of this research is that the best pet that you can ever have is a Sika Deer, the elegant spotted deer which is native to East Asia. This gentle deer eats grass, shoots, twigs and leaves. Does that come as a surprise? Well, more bewilderment awaits you. The top most suitable pets revealed via this research may raise many an eyebrow:

2nd: Agile Wallaby: This marsupial animal found in northern Australia and New Guinea, is also known as the Sandy Wallaby. This fast paced animal is at times sociable and sometimes likes to keep to itself.

3rd: Tammar Wallaby: Found in Australia and New Zealand, this is a grey-coloured tiny wallaby. It is a nocturnal and gregarious animal, which is known to be promiscuous in its mating.

4th: Llama: This animal is considered the relative of the camel. They graze on grass and plants; and can survive with little water.

5th: Asian Palm Civet: Also known as the Toddy Cat, it likes to inhabit forests and parks laden with trees. This nocturnal animal, thrives on fruits and berries.

6th: Himalayan striped squirrel: This squirrel feeds on fruits, vegetables and insects. It exists in small groups and houses itself in tree holes.

7th: Common Yellow-Toothed Cavy: This animal from the rodent family, is related to the guinea pig. This yellow-toothed animal burrows in moist land near crop fields.

8th: Golden Spiny Mouse: The animal sports orange-red fur along its spine. It lives in hot and dry deserts, and is generally vigilant at night.

9th: Common Wallaroo: This is a nocturnal and solitary mammal, which is diminishing in number. It resembles a kangaroo but has shorter limbs than it.

10th: Arabian Spiny Mouse: This animal has spiny fur, which protects it from predatory animals. This nocturnal animal surfaces on the desert sands at night; feeds on seeds, grass and insects.

11th: Swamp Wallaby: Also known as the Black Wallaby, this Australian animal inhabits forests and woodlands.  It feeds on wild shrubs as well as agricultural crops.

12th: Bactrian Camel: This two-humped camel has been domesticated since ancient times. It can adapt itself to both scorching hot and extremely cold climates.

13th: Brazilian Guinea Pig: This guinea pig species is found in South America. It munches on herbs and grasses.

14th: Chacoan Mara: This animal which looks like a rabbit lives in the thorny forests and scrublands of South America. It is one of the largest rodents in the world.

15th: Red-Necked Wallaby: These gregarious animals feed on roots, grass, weeds and tree leaves. They prefer solitary existence and are generally active after dusk, during nocturnal hours.

16th: African Pygmy Mouse: They are one of the world’s smallest rodents, grey to brick red in colour. They are already popular pets and being gregarious in nature, they should be kept in pairs or groups.

17th: Fat-Tailed Gerbil: This is a docile flurry and soft-furred animal. It mainly eats insects, at times plants and likes to inhabit desert and arid lands.

18th: Finlayson’s Squirrel: It is also called the Variable Squirrel, it predominantly feeds on fruits and seeds. This beautiful animal is found in the forests, open woodlands and plantations of Asia.

19th:  Günther's Vole: This rodent is found in tropical high-altitude grassland and temperate grasslands. They also destroy crops and are therefore regarded as pests.

20st: Tri-coloured Squirrel: These pretty squirrels munch on nuts, fruits, buds, seeds, insects, flowers and bird’s eggs. They are considered as one of the most colourful mammals of the globe.  

21st: Desert Hamster: Found in the desert regions; these tiny hamsters enjoy a diet, which comprises of vegetables, grains, fruits, insects, plants and snails. They are agile and shy creatures, which are wary of human touch.

22nd: Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster: These sociable animals love to eat vegetables, seeds and grains. Natural predators include owls, falcons, foxes and weasels.

23rd: Tayra: This omnivorous animal belongs to the weasel family. It lives in South and Central America.

24th: White Nosed Coati: They are relatives of the raccoon family. These omnivorous animals can easily acclimatize to human presence.

25th: Screaming Hairy Armadillo: This South American creature lives in burrows. Nocturnal in summer and diurnal in winter; it can survive for long phases without water.

Pouched animals and rodents, seem to be favourites in the above list. You may not have heard of many of the subspecies animals mentioned in the list. This list shouldn’t be an invitation to keep these animals as pets in your apartment, especially those which are wild animals. The Wildlife Protection Act in India and various national and international laws prohibit exotic wild species being kept as pets.-


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