Conclusions

Dogs and cats are numerically the most important pet animal species found in U.S. households. Dogs may be asked to perform service, but dogs and cats also bring pleasure by providing companionship and affection in a reciprocal relationship benefiting both animals and humans. Horses that once participated so nobly in the work of farms and ranches now mostly provide recreational opportunities in the suburbs. Other pets are found among the South American camelids, Southeast Asian swine, various rodents, rabbits, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds. Wild animals are not recommended as pets because of their limited tractability, poor adaptability to confinement, and the dangers of zoonotic disease.

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