Are people too narrow-minded when it comes to pets? A new study believes so.
When you compare how long humans and animals have lived side by side, the fact that we only started domesticating some animals roughly 15,000 years ago is a minuscule amount of time. Your ancestors are to thank for the pets that we all have now. Sure the mighty wolf became the small yappy dog that gets carried around in a handbag, and the sleek and powerful cat got turned into an internet celebrity, but there are better pets to have.
A new study took into consideration 90 species of animals and put them to the test to see which ones were more suitable as pets. While many of the animals that topped the list are not available for adoption from your local shelter, they would make the pet park a lot more interesting.
Topping the list of animals that make more suitable pets that dogs or cats were the Sika deer, Agile wallaby, Tamar Wallaby, llama and Asian palm civet.
There have been many that thought about having a Wallaby for a pet, and now it has the backing of scientific research. However, that’s about as far as it goes. It’s still not allowed to have these animals without permits and permission. The research was theoretical.
The research was done to combat a growing problem in the Netherlands with many people there keeping exotic animals. The Dutch animal welfare policy says that people can own “production animals” such as pigs or gerbils, or they can own “suitable” pets that can be kept by a person without any particular skill or knowledge. The aim of the study was to show what animals could fit under the guidelines for “suitable” pets.
To conduct the research a list was made of all the animals that Dutch people were keeping as pets, the researchers removed dogs, cats, and production animals from the list and conducted an extensive survey of the remaining animals. The study looked for suitability by looking at key criterias; how freely available is food for the animal, do they require particular shelter, what is their reproductive cycle, and how dangerous are they to humans or other animals.
While the researchers agree that the animals that topped the list are not going to be walking the streets on leads anytime soon, it did raise the important question on what any government views as a suitable pet might need to be rethought.
The dog and cat are safe from the wallaby…for now.