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Uncommon Pets for Families



Adopting from a shelter used to mean one decision: dog or cat. Now there are plenty of options, and choosing among them can be as simple as clicking a mouse. Petfinder.com, a website with approximately 345,000 adoptable animals, offers listings from shelters across the nation plus an online learning center with extensive tips. Betsy Banks Saul, cofounder of Petfinder.com, recommends honestly assessing your family's lifestyle to decide which pet is best for you.


Personality: Because they're super smart, birds require lots of mental stimulation, such as learning games (try hide-and-seek) and tricks (like ringing a bell on command), to thrive. They're also very loyal.

Care: Birds spend most of their time caged but should be let out to ward off boredom. How often depends on the breed.

Habitat: Keep them in the largest cage possible, but make sure they can't slip their head out between the bars.

Best Pet For: Social people who like to chat. African Gray and Amazon parrots are considered the most talkative breeds.