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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious about exotic pet owners about their definitions of a 'pet'.

For instance, I've known people who keep animals only in a cage, is that a 'pet'? I've sold rabbits and had to explain to people that it they are not the same as having a pet cat, e.g. they don't seem to enjoy being picked up or petted, etc. One of my cousins used to keep a tarantula and his sister kept a hermit crab...are those really 'pets'? How about the guy who keeps a cougar in a cage in his barn, is that a 'pet'? How about fish or birds?

Myself, I sort of consider a 'pet' as an animal that interacts with you in a friendly manner.
 

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RAT ADDICT
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In my opinion,a "pet" is a domesticated animal bred for companionship.Cats,dogs and other companion animals are "pets".Animals that show love and affection for their humans and that want to be with their people,those are "pets" IMO.


Things like reptiles,inverts and fish are not "pets" perse,not in the same way as a cat or dog.Most reptiles,inverts and fish do not care to be handled and they are not cuddly and do not show love and affection towards humans.


The same goes for wild animals...big cats,wild dogs,birds of prey...things like these are also not "pets",they are wild animals.
 

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Hello Earthling
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A pet to my is something that as VanillaRat said is domesticated like dogs or cats and can show affection.

I sometimes call my geckos and snake my 'pets', but really I keep them more as 'show' since they can't really show affection. But I still love them.
 

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I agree with VanillaRat. I have some Red Tail boas, and although I love them, its not like they reciprocate that love. Although I take it as a good sign that they don't try to bite or strangle me. :)
 

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I think of my iguana as a pet, i can pet her, she interacts with me it just takes more work than a dog

I think a pet is something you can enjoy and take care of and they can be happy as well. Animals that are not happy in human space i don't think of as pets really.
 

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Betta Bomb
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Id go ahead and agree, a 'pet' is a centuries old companion. Dogs and cats have been bred over and over to meet our own needs. Since, the actual wild animal of which we took it from (wolf) is now so little characteristics as to call it wild anymore. (dont mind my sentence structure, I understand I worded it bad)
I wouldnt consider exotics like reps and inverts 'pets' as they are still really close to the wild counterpart and cannot feel said love to it's human.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm glad so many of you responded! I suppose it is right to call my fox a pet. (He just came out from his hideyhole and has been laying beside me and sticking his nose up to be petted. I suppose soon he will want his tummy rubbed.)
I have rabbits and chickens in the barn, I don't consider them as pets, I consider them as 'food sources'. The chickens lay eggs, and the rabbits make babies for meat. (The only ones I butchered this year was during an 'emergency' when the dogs and cats needed some food that day.)
I have a horse....I would consider her as a pet, since she comes up to me and enjoys attention. I also have sheep, who are not my pets...they don't like physical attention, but are quick to follow me around incase I give them some grain or other food. I keep them as 'lawn mowers'.
And the barn cats? I would have to say they consider themselves as pets, and I consider them as rodent control (if it wasn't for the rodents, the cats wouldn't be here).

I've had 'pet' snakes before, and I think the snakes' enjoy handling simply because of the person's body warmth. One of the snakes bit me once, oops my fault....he was hungry and thought I was dropping food into his cage, which he would usually take from my hand. Trust me, I went and got that food for him right away.
 

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when you're thinking about a definition of a word now attached to so many different things there's so many different things to take into account that it's easier to say that the definition is relative to each individual person.
now that my ethics A-level is out of the way....


i think inverts and reptiles can be pets. i think there's something to be said about a meaningful connection between the owner and the animal, even if the animal doesn't show love towards the owner.


i also think pets don't serve much of a purpose, or if they do it's a convenient bonus. like our turkeys at home compared to the turkeys my brother is farming. my brother feels no connection to the farmed turkeys other than the responsibility to take care of them and to ensure their needs are met, while we consider the turkeys at home our pets and will not be eating them at christmas. we put up with one of them liking roosting in odd places that we cannot have him roosting (like on top of our shed) because we love them and have meaningful interactions with us, like we can pet him. the other two don't like being petted, but that's because one just doesn't like it and the other one has a gammy eye and pretty much however you approach her, you sneak up on her and surprise her.
what i'm trying to say there is that for me it's more about the owner's connection to the animal. we interact with animals we consider our pets in the same way as we would any other animal, however we draw meaning from and appreciate our connection with these animals while we could take or leave the other ones.



i think names also help.



sorry about the shpiel
 

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I consider all the animals I have to be pets... To me, a pet is just an animal that you live with and take care of. I am more connected with some than others, but I love and enjoy them all.
But I still think the term "fur babies" is more appropriet than "pet", LOL :D
 

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I'm not weird, I'm gifted
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I agree with Vanilla
I like to call these animals "hobby animals", because they are not pets, they are animals you keep because you are facinated with them in some way, not because you want something to interact with.
 

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I think that any animal that lives with you, that you take care of is a pet. Pretty much what Jess said.
 

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According to the dictionary, a pet is "any domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion and cared for affectionately".

While exotics are not domesticated, many would still fit the definition because they've been tamed to at least an extent. This is where animals like my own degus fit in.

So now the debate is really whether or not reptiles/fish are "tame". I think most of us agree that fish can't be tamed, at least not the same way as other animals (although there are certainly domestic fish such as koi). But with reptiles, the line gets blurry. I don't believe reptiles to be "tame" although some can be "docile" or will tolerate handling. That's just my opinion, though :).
 

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My igunana i would call tame, she will come and sit with me, she will hang out in my bedroom, she will temporarily stop what shes doing if i say no...

I can go in her cage and attack flies and she won't freak out, that i would call pretty tame. Kind of the same as a horse most of the time.
 

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Betta Bomb
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Valid points are met here. Yes, obviously Kendalle has a retardedly unique bond to her Kermit (admirable) because she focuses all her attention on her. Someone with a pile of hobby reps who cannot administer individual hours to socializing due to the species preference in most cases. I would certainly agree with Rodentopia and say that each case is different in how one would define the bond between humans and their non-human counterparts.
 

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My friend has a python that seems to enjoy hanging out with her and likes being stroked...or seems to enjoy it.But it is hard to tell whether the snake really likes it.Reptiles rely on instinct more then anything.


One of my geckos used to like to sit on the top of my head,but that is because my head was warm.He tolerated being handled,as did my other gecko...but I wouldn't exactly say they enjoyed it.
 

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each reptile is different to the extreme. Snakes i wouldn't ever say like being held, many tolerate it but snakes don't have ears, so i think they lack a huge part of bonding. also they don't get scared by loud noises because of that.

I have a very very easy iguana. i have messed with her a lot but she never was bitey like some are.

Males have mating season where they can turn on the handlers a lot full out attacking them. but out of mating season they are normally nice.

I think people that own herps have a different idea about pets. they aren't for everyone. They don't come when called most of the time, they don't do tricks, they don't play fetch... but they are special in their own way. I Love kermit just as much as i love my cat, and dog, i also have a pet cow that comes (sorta) when called and i love her too, i used to go jogging with my cow.
 

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I'm not weird, I'm gifted
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Kendalle:
For the most part I would say that lizards can learn to tolerate you, but they will never bond with you.
When it comes to some of the bigger lizards I'm not so sure though. Especially when talking about green iguanas. They seam to actually react to their owners like intelligent animals, not just reactig on instinct.

I know of some iguana people who have had iguanas for 10 years. When they talk about their iguanas, they seam like quite intelligent reptiles, compared to other reptiles. They can interact with them and so on...
 

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According to the ideas here goldfish can't be pets either pet "pet goldfish" is commonly excepted.

  1. An animal kept for amusement or companionship.
  2. An object of the affections.
  3. A person especially loved or indulged; a favorite: the teacher's pet.
adj.
  1. Kept as a pet: a pet cat.
    1. Particularly cherished or indulged: a pet grandchild.
    2. Expressing or showing affection: a pet name.
  2. Being a favorite: a pet topic.
An animal kept for amusement or companionship.

While you may not want a pet that isn't a companion others like them for the amusement, like watching fish to relax or reptiles, frogs, insects. Pet is simply any animal you keep for selfish reasons(companion,looks, amusements) and has no other workable purpose(food source, work animal).
 

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According to the ideas here goldfish can't be pets either pet "pet goldfish" is commonly excepted.


[/LIST]
An animal kept for amusement or companionship.

While you may not want a pet that isn't a companion others like them for the amusement, like watching fish to relax or reptiles, frogs, insects. Pet is simply any animal you keep for selfish reasons(companion,looks, amusements) and has no other workable purpose(food source, work animal).
Not the nicest way to put it but that is pretty much it. To me, a pet is any animal you see frequentley and have an attachment to, wild or tame.
 
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