To many people, a cat, dog, or goldfish are the ideal pets. However, some prefer something far stranger and more interesting. You've probably heard of exotic pets like iguanas, tarantulas and turtles, but even these seem bland in comparison to some of the animals people call pets. Here are six examples of the weirdest house guests you'll ever see.


They may be slimy, but to some people, this is overshadowed by their uniqueness, friendly demeanor, and ease of care. Unlike dogs, they don't need to be walked or taken to the vet, they won't destroy your furniture. They live happily off of your vegetable scraps, and although most snails are small, some are quite large. Many of the species popularly kept as pets range between golf ball-size up to the size of a football. Currently, giant snails in the pet trade are more common in Europe than the United States due to laws and regulations.

Cockroaches aren't just pests that roam around your kitchen after you've gone to sleep. Some species also make fantastic and fascinating pets. Take the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach as an example. They get up to three inches in length, are hilarious to watch, and surprisingly docile. These cockroaches produce a loud hiss when they're bothered, mating, fighting, or sometimes for no apparent reason at all.

It's hard to imagine a giant rodent would make a good pet, but the capybara will prove you wrong. These guinea pig relatives come from South America and are herbivores. They're also intelligent and very friendly. In fact, even in the wild, they will allow humans to approach and pet them. The only down side is that, at four feet long and 100 pounds, a capybara may cost a small fortune to keep fed.

Emus are a large Australian bird similar to an ostrich, and they're often farmed for their meat and fat. However, some people have discovered they can also make interesting, if a bit aggressive, pets. Emus have the attitude and intelligence to match their size, so it's important to surround your yard with Jakob Rope Systems wire mesh safety fencing to prevent accidents and escapes.

If you've ever had them raid your trash cans, then you might think of raccoons as little more than filthy pests. They don't deserve that reputation, though. Raccoons are actually very smart and clean animals that dutifully wash their food and paws before they eat. They can be trained to be good house pets much like dogs, and their antics will supply an endless amount of entertainment.

You might think that having a skunk for a pet is asking for a load of smelly trouble, but with a simple procedure at a vet's office, this can be avoided. Without the threat of stench lingering, you'll find that skunks are really very congenial animals that make great pets. They're good with children, can be trained, and are very affectionate with their owners.

If you're looking for a unique pet to go with your unique tastes, then you can't go wrong with one of these critters. Most of them provide great companionship, years of amusing antics, and a never-ending topic of conversation. Just be sure to check with your city's regulations as they may be illegal or require special permits in some places.


Brooke ChaplanBrooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lived and worked in her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico after her graduation from the University of New Mexico. Contact her via Twitter @BrookeChaplan



By Natalie Gomez 41 days ago at 9:54 am 0 Comments

The Lo-Down Starring Ailo The Cat

Hello there.

Welcome to the Lo-Down, a new P.L.A.Y. series developed specially with cat-lovers in mind.

My name is Ailo, (or Lolo, as my mom sometimes calls me) and I am the star of this show.

I just turned three, and I live in Norway with mom and dad, who adore me even though I am a 15.5lb ginger rascal. Ah, the things you couldn't tell just by looking at photos of me.

BTW, this is me nestled inside my dad's overnight bag. As much as I love attention, it's nice to disappear from the world once in a while. I was able to snooze for an entire 30 minutes before they found me.

Anyway, you'll be seeing more of me later. Like, literally -- maybe there'll even be a full body shot. But for now, I really need to go lie on the kitchen counter. Check back soon to follow me on my claw-some adventures.




By Natalie Gomez 45 days ago at 3:07 pm 0 Comments

It's important to seek the best care for your pet and pay attention to how your pet is behaving. If you notice any warning signs such as increased thirst or urination, lack of appetite, diarrhea or vomiting, problems breathing, changes in sleeping habits or any unusual behavior, it could be a sign of sickness and you should contact your veterinarian. Whether you need to take your pet to the vet or are taking care of needs at home, it's important to seek high quality care.

Pets Are Family Too

Providing Nutritional Food

Pets have special nutritional needs like people do. It's important to choose the food for your dog or cat that best suits their needs. Good quality food can help to prevent health problems especially in cats that tend to get urinary tract infections more than dogs. Pets should not have table food. Many foods can be toxic or otherwise harmful to pets. Table food can also contain minerals or additives that don't agree with pets. It's much better for them to have food that's formulated for them.

Specialty Care

Dogs and cats should have regular visits to the veterinarian for checkups and shots. If there are any potential problems the vet can detect them with diagnostic tests before they become serious. One problem that is common in some cats and dogs is diabetes, which can only be treated by a veterinarian. Canine or feline diabetes can be controlled with insulin, diet, and exercise but a veterinarian has to prescribe the most effective treatment.

Flea and Tick Care

Regular baths with a good quality shampoo formulated for pets will keep your pet's coat clean and shiny. It will also prevent infestation of fleas and ticks. If you have cats, you may want to take them to a groomer for their bath. If you find ticks and can't remove them, be sure to take your pet to a veterinarian to get them proper treatment.

Keeping Claws Trimmed Prevent Accidents

Keeping your cat or dog's nails trimmed will prevent scratches and could keep the claws from tearing and requiring an emergency visit to your veterinarian. Scratching posts for cats prevent them from scratching at furniture. If you have an indoor dog, talking them for walks on the sidewalk and cement will help keep the nails trimmed. If they become too long, be sure to trim them yourself or have a vet help you to prevent further problems.

The Importance of Exercise

Make sure your pet gets regular exercise. If you have a cat, you can buy toys to get them to run around, but some cats like to amuse themselves. Regular walks with your dog are good exercise for both of you. It's also a great way to bond with your dog and have special time together.

Spaying and Neutering

Spaying and neutering are procedures that can only be done by a veterinarian. If you aren't breeding your pet, it's important to have them spayed or neutered. Benefits of spaying and neutering include offsetting pet overpopulation, keeping pets healthier by preventing serious diseases,and ensuring better behavior in males.

By following some simple steps, you can ensure that your dog or cat is happy and healthy. Regular checkups are important, but one of the best things you can give your pet is plenty of love and attention.

Informational credit to Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic.

Anita GinsburgAnita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver and often writes about home, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn't writing.



By Natalie Gomez 46 days ago at 9:54 am 0 Comments