Animal science is described as "studying the biology of animals that are under the control of mankind" . Historically the animals studied were farm animals but courses available now look at a far broader area to include companion animals for example dogs, cats, horses and captive animals .

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While every kid dreams of owning a pet, you are perpetually finding reasons to deny them one, primarily because of the cost and time required for its maintenance. So, is there a way out? 

Any kid would vouch for the fact that an unusual pet is a cool pet. So, rather than thinking of getting home the usual dog or cat, think different! There are scores of other animal options that you could choose from. Animals, which are a lot easier to care for, low in price and are perceived as being super cool for their novelty. Here are a few options:

Gold Fish
Let’s start with the most commonly uncommon pet - the gold fish. This tends to be an ideal first pet for your kid. It is low in cost and maintenance and very attractive too. It is also an easy way to train your child for the daily care of his pet and make him responsible for the same.

But, in many ways, a gold fish is an hackneyed pet and may fail to provide the excitement and uniqueness that your child is looking for, especially if there are a few gold fish in the neighborhood already.

African Clawed Frog
This seriously different pet can be made yours by merely spending around $18 at your local pet shop. All that this 4 to 5 inch long creature requires is a small habitat comprising of a few large rocks, plastic plants and some pellets to eat.

For its 15 years of lifespan you will be required to change its water once in a while, when it gets murky and toss a few pellets every now and then. Hiding itself behind the rocks, this minimal maintenance pet will give you company for a long time to come.

Hermit Crabs
Children adore hermit crabs for their alien like looks and adults like them for their practicality. One of these omnivore creatures can be owned for around $10. Being an omnivore they can be fed upon on almost anything and everything.

You have seen your daughters dress up their Barbie but dressing up a live creature can be a whole lot of fun. This liberty can be enjoyed only with a hermit crab, which needs to move to a larger shell as it out-grows the previous one.

Your children will look out for an opportunity to hunt for a suitable outfit for their pet, on the beach, thus having a direct influence and say over how their pet looks. These lovely creatures need to be cleaned only once a week and of course, fed daily.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Despite the speculations, this variety of cockroaches, do make the idyllic low maintenance pets. Only getting used to their crass appearance might be a big hurdle, otherwise their demands are quite basic. All that they ever ask for is a fairly large tank with a secure lid and some places in it to hide. Egg cartons act as ideal homes for these cockroaches.

They gobble upon fruits, vegetables and dry dog food. The fact that they can actually hiss, adds to the fun side of having them as pets.

Pygmy Hedgehogs
This one can come to your home for less than 50 dollars. They featured on the top of the list of glamour pet fads until recent past and are still quite in demand. But you can lay your hands on a good hedgie by approaching a local society for animal rights protection instead of the pet shop or a hedgehog breeder.

They are not the very interactive kinds and it is indeed a treat watching these cute little creatures roll up into a ball, when they get scared. They do have pointed quills but rarely make use of them.

In the name of a house, a 2 to 3 foot tank should suffice, but they do have a certain specifications when it comes to their diet. Also, before you bring one to your home, just make sure that your state legally allows you to do so for many states have banned maintaining hedgehogs as pets.

Other options
Lizards like the Leopard Geckos are good to have as pets, as well. These are nocturnal creatures and do not require the special UV lights either. They feed on bugs and would readily give you company for some 20 odd years.

You could also consider canaries or parrots. While canaries need to be cleaned only once in a week, parrots tend to be a little dirtier and hence must be given a daily wash. Both these birds survive on fruits, a few vegetables and grains.

With one of these at your home, your kids will proudly flaunt their animal companion to their friends and would never-ever feel lonely. You can also forgo lecturing them about the importance of loving and caring for animals. These qualities will be naturally imbibed in them.



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