Top 10 Facts About Pets Too Many People Don't Know

The Top Ten
1 Miniature pigs are hardly miniature. They weigh between 60 and 300 pounds when full grown.

There is no such thing as a teacup pig. It's just a lie that unscrupulous sellers tell in order to move product. In this case, the product is an intelligent and loving animal that will depend on you to provide for its needs long after it is no longer a cute little novelty.

2 According to The Humane Society of The United States, most dogs sold in pet stores in the United States are the products of "puppy mills" and frequently have serious health or psychological problems.

There's no need to delve into the horror that is a commercial puppy mill here. You can do the research if you haven't already. Just know that buying a dog from a pet store most likely funds a system of cruelty and abuse.

3 Painted glass fish aren't naturally colored. They are transparent fish injected with dye. Most of the fish do not survive this process and the color fades in those that do.

Sure, they're just fish, I can hear people say. Certainly, it's worth the death, torture, disfigurement, and sickness for a little bit of novelty.

4 80% of shelter rabbits were purchased as Easter presents. Most are euthanized.

It's alarming how many people buy a living, breathing creature without having any respect for the life they are taking responsibility for. Rabbits are a relatively high-maintenance pet that can live up to 10 years. Impulsively buying one to surprise a kid on Easter without taking the time to properly research and commit to its care is cruel.

5 Sugar gliders are a high maintenance pet. Proper care and bonding will require a couple hours per day.

Another high maintenance pet that is sold as a novelty. People buy them because they are so cute without realizing proper care is a serious commitment. I'm betting the mortality rate among sugar gliders sold to consumers is shockingly high.

6 Microchipped dogs that enter animal shelters are 2.4 times as likely to be returned to their families. Microchipped cats are 20 times more likely.

Microchip your pets, people. It really does make a difference. This isn't the place to be stingy. It's not that expensive anyway.

7 Hedgehogs are most comfortable with a constant temperature between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures not far outside that zone can be fatal.

Yet another novelty pet people get without realizing the work involved. Your hedgehog isn't going to be happy or healthy with an ordinary cage or box sitting in your house. They need a controlled environment and you're either going to have to sacrifice your comfort or spend the extra dough to put together a quality environment.

8 Some pets such as snakes and tarantulas can live a surprisingly long time, up to 30 years.

Before getting little Johnny an "easy-to-care-for" pet to teach him some responsibility, do a little research. Are you getting him a chore he's going to want to do until he's in his 30s? And what if he doesn't want that? Is the lesson in responsibility you want to teach that you get rid of things when you no longer want to care for them?

9 Unlike hospitals, veterinarians can refuse service to those who cannot pay, and frequently require payment in advance.

There is no Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act for veterinarians. The animal hospital isn't legally required to treat your sick pet. Veterinary clinics are for-profit businesses and while the doctors employed there would almost certainly prefer to be able to do everything possible for your furry one, the realities of the business prevent it.

Don't put yourself in a position where you have to decide how much you are willing to pay for your pet's medical treatment, and don't put your vet in a position where they have to put down an animal that could be saved. Get pet insurance.

10 Goldfish can grow fairly large, up to 8 inches long or more depending on their environment.

Considered the ultimate in low-maintenance pets (heck, they used to give them away at the fair), goldfish can actually become something of a burden if you take care of them. Of course, most people probably don't bother with that.