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LifeLine Animal Project has partnered with a national nonprofit, “Pets for Patriots,” to help U.S. military veterans adopt the pet of their dreams. Cougars, lions, tigers , and leopards make up the majority of large cats kept as pets. They are strong and dangerous, to say the least. If you think you can just de-claw a lion like you did your little house cat then think again. De-clawing removes the entire last bone in each toe. If you remove the tips of the toes of a large cat, they are unable to properly walk because of their size and become paralyzed when the procedure is done incorrectly.

For example, many species of gobies cohabitate with pistol shrimp. They live as a team. The Watchman Goby alerts the pistol shrimp to the presence of potential predators and prey. The pistol shrimp defends the goby from predators and kills prey, with both sharing a home and territory as well as meals. I consider a pet relationship to be an interspecies symbiotic relationship which is strong enough to warrant the cohabitation of the Symbiants. I have such a relationship with my dog, and the mighty Watchman Goby has such a relationship with the even mightier pistol shrimp.

Capybaras need a lot of attention, plenty of room to roam and some type of swimming pool. They can be territorial and could bite with their large teeth. Typaldos doesn’t recommend capybaras for families with young children, because the rodents aren’t nearly as tolerant as some other domestic pets, like dogs. Like most of the animals on our countdown, your city or state may have exotic pet legislation that would keep you from owning a capybara, so always check the laws before bringing one home.

The recent review of the research literature on the impact of pet ownership on health concluded that there is not enough evidence to make any conclusions 3 The piece reviews the methodological challenges preventing the extant literature from building a strong research base, including problems with small samples, convenience samples, lack of methodological rigor, and self-report measures, and the file drawer” effect. All the research to date suffers from several limitations that prevent any strong conclusions about the health effects of pet ownership from being made.

When taking on the responsibility of a pet, you and each member of the family must be willing to commit to providing a good home for it. Find out how much time each family member can devote to the pet. Discuss each person’s responsibilities for the animal’s care, feeding, grooming, exercise, socialization and training. Determine who will be responsible for the expenses involved, and make certain that every need for the pet you’re considering will be met.