By pet, we mean a species that has co-evolved with the human being over thousands of years and that has an innate disposition to interact with us. They are pets, those with whom to share daily moments, within the walls of the house and not. Domestic animals are those that do not exist free in wild nature and that have evolved only thanks to the relationship with a man .
We think of the dog, the cat, the hen, the cow. They are pets, (just from Domus, home). To understand the difference, just understand that the dog is domestic and his cousin, the wolf is wild, we think of the differences between the cow and the buffalo, the domestic rabbit and the wild rabbit, the domestic goat and the roe deer for example.
This must be clarified because there are animals with which it happens to divide the space of the house, therefore literally “domestic”, and others that are wild animals, unfortunately, used as pets for human selfishness, but which are not domestic, but they are domesticated individuals, but who have the same needs as their fellow humans in Nature. The same domestic animals can then be divided into companion animals (dog, cat, bunny) and income animals, which have a productive utility, be it milk, meat, wool, soma, especially by referring to primordial activities. The main species of pets among mammals are dogs, cats, hamsters, domestic mice and prairie dogs (guinea pig or guinea pig), rabbits, horses, ferrets, alpacas, pigs. Squirrels, weasels, hedgehogs, wolves, bears, marmots, beavers, roe deer, foxes, fawns, wild boars are wild animals, whose possession is illegal, being autochthonous (Italian) animals and whose sale and capture is prohibited.
It is important to distinguish and understand an exotic animal from a wild one. The alpaca and the camel are for example exotic but domestic, while the roe deer and the wolf are wild but native (local-local).
The most common pets are undoubtedly dogs and cats, as far as mammals are concerned, followed by birds and fish. The latter, although not domestic, are unfortunately very numerous because they are simple enough to keep and fit into environments and agendas where there is no space for a furry quadruped, however, they are pets that require the purchase of specific equipment not entirely low cost. Indeed, if you want to do things right, it’s an investment. And we must ask ourselves if the choice to keep a fish in an aquarium or a bird in a cage is not a choice dictated by a selfish desire. We must always remember that these are living beings, animals with complex ethological (behavioral) needs, and that we cannot believe are simple ornaments.
In addition to fish, always among wild animals, unfortunately, used as pets, we find reptiles, often exotic mammals, some types of amphibians, and even arthropods such as spiders and scorpions. For birds, people keep birds, such as parakeets, cockatoos, macaws and other species of parrots, canaries, doves, and even ducks at home, in cages or aviaries. Among the reptiles, inside the display cases, in the houses, unfortunately, there are lizards, iguanas, snakes, turtles and tortoises, small alligators, geckos, and other species of exotic reptiles. The amphibian category mainly includes tritons, frogs, toads, and salamanders. The fish are many and are divided between freshwater aquarium fish and saltwater aquarium fish. More and more strange but unfortunately always kept at home, often by collectors, there are arthropods: ants, crickets, tarantulas and other spiders, scorpions and stick and leaf insects.
Let us remember that for none of these categories can we speak of pets, as the species is a wild species that have not developed any innate nature to interact with the human being. We speak, therefore, in the case of birds, reptiles, fish, and amphibians of wild animals, in which, the individual has been tamed through an imprinting process in which they are raised by hand and often stolen from natural mothers.
Wild and exotic animals kept as pets (to be avoided)
In the exotic, unfortunately, the most popular wild animals are the meerkats ( Lion King Timon ), highly intelligent and social African mammals, often sold individually, which suffer greatly from captivity. An animal that should live in the savannah together with 15/20 of its conspecifics and finds itself alone in a small garden in Italy … imagine that abuse. Among the mammals, unfortunately, the sugar glider, or the flying squirrel, a marsupial from Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea, which is expected to stand long planed jumps between the trees thanks to an extendable membrane called a patagium that connects all the limbs between them. Imagine how much you suffer in a house or garden. Then there are the iguanas, a large slow lizard from South America with a typical crest on the back, more evident in males than in females.
Even the parrots are exotic and wild animals are in high demand but not always treatable. Precisely because of their intelligence and sociability they suffer a lot of captivity, as they should live in tropical forests, often in groups, and not find themselves in contact with Man inside a home. Some species also live 80 years and are animals that behave like a 3-4-year-old child. Many allow these poor birds used as pets to practice free flight, training them to fly and then return to their arms on recall. Clearly, in Nature a parrot would never rest on the shoulder of a human being who calls him, so let’s imagine when the keeping of wild animals is unnatural and unhealthy for their well-being.
From bird to bird, among other tropical birds, there is also the Indian blackbird: it’s very elegant figure is not silent at all, on the contrary. These social animals repeat many words and continuously, they are in a large cage and require a lot of company, they demand it, loudly. Clearly, even in this case, the human companionship inside a cage is not what a bird that should fly free together with its conspecifics would need.