PICK A SIDE: Which “pandemic pet” is best?  


Published April 9, 2021 at 7:01 pm


With Ontario now experiencing a third wave of COVID-19, and a third province-wide lockdown, coupled with a third stay-at-home order, now in effect, many might be feeling like the end is no closer than it was a year ago.

As a result, many are struggling with the mental, emotional, and physical toll the pandemic has taken on Canadians and especially Ontarians over the last 12 months.

For some, particularly those who live alone, the lone bright spot has been their pet—with many people being laid off or forced to work from home, they’ve been able to spend a little more time than they normally would with their furry friend.

But, what kind of pet is best?

The two more common pets are dogs and cats, as well as less common options (particularly for those with allergies) such as rabbits, fish, birds, and reptiles.

Many people who prefer dogs do so because of their loyalty and affection. Who wouldn’t want a pet that practically jumps out of its skin because it’s so excited every time its owner comes home.

However, some people prefer the more relaxed, aloof temperament of cats.

Some would say cats aren’t as affectionate as dogs, however, cat owners would argue they can be, but you have to earn it—as opposed to many dogs who seem to love all people equally, some cat owners believe this is why cats form stronger bonds with their owners.

Plus, cats are often lauded for their hunting instincts—which comes in handy when it comes to killing and eating pests such as rats and mice.

Others prefer more exotic pets, such as reptiles—snakes, lizards, iguanas, turtles, and tortoise are common examples.

Many reptile pet owners prefer them because they’re unique, while some choose reptiles because they may be harder to home than other pets.

However, because of their requirements—such as enclosers that maintain certain temperatures—they can be slightly more high maintenance than other more common pets.

While not considered as conventional as cats and dogs, rabbits are more common than some might think—many pet owners who struggle with anxiety gravitate towards rabbits due to their gentle demeanors, as well as the fact they’re relatively easy to care for and train.

As is the case with cats, rabbits can be taught how to use a litterbox, so they don’t require as much maintenance as some pets, and they’re also great for many different kinds of living situations—they don’t need a lot of space so they can work for people who live in large houses just as well as people who live in smaller apartments, and they’re also quiet.

Others with a penchant for bright colours and euphonious sounds like to keep birds as pets. They can have bright markings and melodious sounds—they also often have distinct personalities, despite what some might think.

And of course, they’re one of the only kinds of pets that can be taught to actually speak with their owner.

Finally, there’s the pet option many people start with when they’re children—fish. While some often move on to other pets, some feel fish are the perfect pet.

For one thing, they’re one of the lowest-maintenance pets that exist—they don’t need to be fed nearly as often as other pets, and the only other thing they need is to occasionally have their aquarium cleaned.

However, they do require some knowledge, as certain fish need certain conditions when it comes to their habitat (saltwater fish don’t do well in fresh water and vice versa).

So, readers, which pet do you prefer?

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies