Over half the households in the UK have a pet animal or bird of some
kind, and care of these pets is an important way of using free time.
It can be closely linked to other activities like walking
and horse riding.
Cats and dogs are
the most popular animals, but other common pets include birds and
fish. Some people keep more exotic types of pets, including
snakes and reptiles.
In addition to basic care in the form of feeding, exercising,
and enjoying the company of pets, for some people animals are a more
serious interest. Training them, breeding, and generally learning
more about them can all be important free time occupations.
It is easy
to obtain a pet, but it is important to have enough knowledge and time to
care for pets properly.
Aviculture Society 0117 970 6176
National Council for Aviculture 01782 305042
Cats Protection League www.cats.org.uk/
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/GCCF_CATS/
Association of Pet Dog Trainers 01428 707620
The Kennel Club 0207 493 2001
British Aquatic Resource Centre www.cfkc.demon.co.uk/
Freshwater Fish and Home Aquarium Internet Club www.tropicalfish.cwc.net/
Xalan's Homepage and UK Aquarium www3.mistral.co.uk/xalan/
Royal Pigeon Racing Association www.pigeonracing.com/
Cage & Aviary Birds
British Homing World www.
The Racing Pigeon
Find a local group
or club covering the type of pet that interests you (see organisations above).
Take a class or course at your local
adult education centre or see if your local group runs introductory
Consult books or magazines
on different types of pets.
Check in your local library/paper,
pet shop or education centre for more information.
Skills and people
of all ages and both sexes have pets of different kinds. Most pets are animals,
birds or fish, that people have in
Large pets such as horses, some dogs and other animals
may have to be kept outside or elsewhere. Much of the care can be
done on your own, but for many people the pet is a member of the family
who is cared for by all.
Some people enjoy
the stimulus and social contact of belonging to a group of pet owners.
can be temporarily, in order to learn about caring for a new pet, or
longer term where a local group meets on a more or less regular
Local groups also organise shows and other special events for
Equipment or clothing
The pet itself is the obvious essential, plus food and other equipment
necessary for its care.
The amounts and costs involved can vary
greatly depending on the size and nature of the pet selected.
A place or facilities
Some pets, particularly the large ones, require special facilities or
spaces in or outside the home.
Groups of pet owners may meet at such
facilities (e.g. stables for horses) or in a local centre (e.g. for dog