Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This page is about domestic animals. For several meanings of the acronym PET, see PET.
A pet or companion animal is an animal that is kept by humans for companionship and enjoyment, rather than for economic reasons. The most popular are noted for their loyal or playful characteristics or their beautiful appearance or song.
While in theory one could keep a blue whale as a pet, in practice a small number of species of mammals, especially dogs and cats, and other animals such as birds have dominated the pet scene for a very long time. Fish have joined them more recently. Many of these are domesticated while others, often considered novelty pets, are not. With the exception of iguanas and non-venomous snakes, few reptiles and amphibians make good pets.
Pets can have many health benefits. Pets have been proven tho help remove stress.
- Rodents, including hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, gerbils, chinchillas, degus, flying squirrels and rats
- small pigs
- Budgerigars (parakeets)
- other parrot species
- Canaries and other finch species
- Crocodilians, including alligators, crocodiles, caimans, gavials (can usually only be kept as pets when they are young)
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