An outdoor space can add beauty to any home and function in a multitude of ways beyond simple aesthetics. One of these functions can be keeping a household pet. The type of pet will depend on the size of the space and the climate of your location, because different types of pets have different needs.
A dog is a natural outdoor adventurer and a popular traditional choice, although it requires a lot of work. It is recommended that the outdoor space be fenced off to allow an untrained dog to run and play without the risk of running off. Dogs need fresh water to prevent dehydration and also healthy dog food, sold in most supermarkets and specialty pet stores. The type of dog can range from a tiny Pomeranian to a massive mastiff, and can be an avid barker or an undetectable presence, depending on the breed, which is something to keep in mind if you have noise concerns. Most dogs are also very friendly and make an excellent companion for a child. The number one rule when caring for a dog is to give them lots of love and attention.
Growing in popularity, chickens can make very sweet and loving pets. They thrive on seeds and packaged feed and require fresh water. It is important to know that a healthy chicken is an active chicken. Inactivity for long periods of time can quickly lead to infection and far worse conditions. Additionally, chickens need an outdoor structure, called a coop, which will house them; it needs to be cleaned weekly. Failure to secure the coop at night makes the chickens prime targets for a host of predators, including coyotes and wolves.
A rather exotic choice, a tegu is a type of lizard that can grow upwards of 50 pounds — bigger than some small dogs. These have a rather difficult learning curve and are really intended for experienced reptile caregivers. They can be expensive because they are carnivorous and require fresh meat. Tegus require a constantly hot climate, so anywhere cold will kill them. It is important to bathe them to keep them clean, which reduces the risk of infection or other complications. Even though these lizards love to roam around and play outdoors for hours at a time, they must be kept inside at night to protect them. Interestingly, these massive creatures can be walked like a dog.
Popular on rooftops and streets of cities, pigeons make a great starter pet. If the idea of a chicken sounds appealing, then so will that of a pigeon, because they require virtually the same type of care. They eat seeds and feed that can be bought at the pet store. They need fresh water. They also require their own enclosed cage with enough room to move around, and weekly cleanings. Several pigeons can be kept in the same cage and will interact, because they are very social creatures.