Basic Guide to Pets

Emily Kaplan and Eden Zamir

Seventh-grader Daniel Zamir lives in a small apartment but still has a zoo in his house. He has a chicken name Paprika, a guinea pig named Clyde and two birds named Isabella and Blueberry. He says, “pets are a lot of work especially a chicken because they never stop pooping everywhere. It is also very hard to train them to go in on place.” They rescued Paprika after she flew into a friend’s apartment through the window, Clyde from craigslist, and her birds from Petland.

Having a pet in NYC can be hard, whether it’s a cat or a fish, or, yes, a chicken. There are many difficulties one might run into to, like taking a dog outside when it is really cold or when it is pouring rain. It all depends on the person, whether they are ready to have the responsibility of a cat or dog, or just a fish. But if they want daily cuddles, a furry friend is the way to go. 

Having a pet comes with an expense as well. Some pets cost more than other pets. A dog is more expensive than a fish and requires space to run and frolic which is difficult for an NYC apartment to provide. While all a fish needs is a tank that can be placed on a cabinet. There are many parks where people can take their dogs, but they need to be taken at least twice a day to get enough exercise, and fed two-three times a day and given ample attention. But all fish needs is a few pellets of food once or twice a day. There are so many pets available in the modern world, and so many crazy stories. 

Similarly to Zamir, ninth-grader Tamara Houck has gerbils, fish, snails, and a dog. She says her pets, “keep me sane, they keep me happy and it’s fun to take care of them.” Fellow ninth-grader Chin Chin Huang used to have pet snakes. In response to asking her if she considered them easy to take care of she said, “Yeah, you feed it once a week and it doesn’t make any noises.” 

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to pets. Tamara has a horror story. “My family and I were pet sitting a dog and we locked up the dog in a room while we left so we wouldn’t destroy our house. When we came back under our door there was a notice asking us to shut our dog up and then we went to see if the dog was okay because it was crying a lot apparently. When we opened the door to the room, there was poop all over the room. I mean everywhere. On the walls, the doors. Everywhere.” 

Another person who prefers to remain anonymous said, “I had recently gotten a kitten, and she wasn’t getting along with my other cats. Anyways, I kept waking up with a wet spot on the bed and I was like where is this coming from, so I stripped the bed and washed it. But the next morning there was another pee spot. The next morning, the kitten is standing over me peeing on me. She needed to stake her claim on me according to the vet. The vet told her that she needed to lock them in the same room together during the day so they could learn to love each other. She also once used the velcro curtains as a wall to climb to the top.” 

Price is probably going to be a big factor in determining one wants a pet or which pet they want to buy. The cheapest pets to have, according to the Mint Life Blog are: Hermit crabs, guinea pigs, ants, and goldfish. While on the other end of the scale the most expensive pets according to scoop whoop, Arabian horses, ball pythons, Tibetan mastiffs, Green Monkey ($16,000,000), white lion cubs, palm cockatoo, hyacinth macaw, toucan ($8,000), and chimpanzees ($60,000). Realistically, I doubt an NYC dweller would have any of these animals (in a country house maybe!) Caring for these animals is probably even more expensive with buying the food that they need and areas that they have to stay in. 

After considering all of these components: price, companionship, accessibility, how hard it is to take care of and needs, we have devised a list of the best pets to have in NYC. If you are looking for an easy to take care of an animal that gives the occasional cuddles, a guinea pig, a hamster or a gerbil is the way to go. It costs about $30/month to take care of these animals and while this may seem like a lot, it’s actually quite a low cost compared to some other animals. If you want a best friend that’s always happy, cuddly and playful but requires lots of care and attention, dogs are great. If you want a quieter companion that cuddles when it feels like it, and all you have to do is feed it twice a day, you should get a cat. If you just want to look at a magnificent creature all day but have no skin to skin (well scale) contact with it, then a fish fits those requirements perfectly. If you want a slithery fellow that is quiet and composed, a snake is great for that. But the thing with a snake is that you have to feed them mice or baby chicks that are already dead and you have to keep them in your freezer to keep them fresh. 

These are just a few pets, but the options are almost endless. A studio apartment and next to no money won’t confine you. Get the pet you want! And love it, take care of it and get a new best friend.