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A pet is a domesticated animal that lives with people, but is not forced to work and is not eaten, in most instances. In most cases, a pet is kept to entertain people or for companionship. Some pets such as dogs and cats are placed in an animal shelter if there is no one willing to take care of it. If no one adopts it or the pet is too old/sick, the pet may be killed.


Dogs, cats, fish, birds are the most common pets in North America. Horses, elephants, oxen, and donkeys are usually made to work, so they are not usually called pets. Some dogs also do work for people, and it was once common for some birds (like falcons and carrier pigeons) to work for humans.

Rodents are also very popular pets. The most common are guinea pigs,
rabbits, hamsters (especially Syrian and dwarf hamsters), mice and rats.

Here are a few fun facts about pets!

Nearly 80 million U.S. households have a pet, and 42 percent of those households have more than one, according to a 2015-2016 survey by the APPA

Goldfish have a reputation as short-lived creatures, but given proper care, they can live as long as 30 years in captivity. The oldest captive goldfish ever recorded was won at a fair in 1956 and died in 1999 at age 43.

Parrots, according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), are the nation’s fourth most popular pet; according to a 2012 survey conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 3.1 percent of U.S. households owned birds. Some parrots can scream as loud as an ambulance siren. These birds are beautiful, but they’re difficult to care for and require lots of space, so the HSUS doesn’t recommend keeping them as pets at all.

One survey found that 81 percent of cat owners let their felines sleep on the bed, compared to 73 percent of dog owners.

The red-eared slider is one of the most popular pet turtles in the United States. They grow to be a foot long and can live for up to 20 years.

Forty-five percent of pet owners say they occasionally (or frequently) buy presents for their animals.

Of the many species of hamsters, the five most commonly kept as pets are Syrian, Dwarf Campbells Russian, Dwarf Winter White Russian, Chinese, and Roborovski. As anyone who’s had one of these rodents knows, they can fit an insane amount of stuff in their cheeks. How do they do it? When the BBC x-rayed a hamster eating for the series Pets - Wild at Heart, they discovered that the animals’ cheek pouches extend down to their hips.

There are 49 domesticated rabbit breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.

According to the ASPCA, around 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year. Interesting in adopting a pet? Make sure to do your research ahead of time to find the animal that's right for you!

Number of pets in the United States in 2017/2018, by species (in millions)

Freshwaters Fish: 139.3
Cats: 94.2
Dogs: 89.7
Birds: 20.3
Saltwater Fish: 18.8
Small Animals: 14
Reptiles: 9.4
Horse: 7.6

Here's is something cool for your kids to do this week! Enter our Pet Photo Contest!

Post a picture of your pet with your kids on our facebook page at By submitting a photo you will enter our pet photo contest and may win a copy of the MyKingstonKids Morning Mix CD: Vol 1-The Break Out.

Photos must be in by July 13th. Winners will be announced on July 14th on MyKingstonKids Radio Show and our Facebook page.