How to Care for House Pets

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  • 8
  • 9
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  • 651
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  • 2
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Course Description

There are literally hundreds of different types of house pets that can live and thrive in a home environment. While the majority of house pets in America tend to be cats and dogs, statistics show that there is a marked increase in more exotic pets. This may be credited to a desire to add to an existing family of pets, desire to be a little more unusual than the average pet owner or the desire to find a pet that requires less care and maintenance than the average canine or feline. In any case, there is a need for current and future pet owners to learn and understand what is required when owning an exotic pet and the benefits that can be had by cohabitating with these creatures.

Pet owners should be aware that certain types of pets are more appropriate for homes depending on the age of the people in residence, existing pets, and level of responsibility and care. This course will give a basic set of guidelines on caring for more exotic types of house pets including rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, rats, guinea pigs, birds, and snakes. These are basic guidelines only as each animal may have many different types of breeds with specific characteristics. By following these guidelines, a current or future pet owner will learn how to choose a pet, what care is required, expected expense, feeding schedules, possible health and veterinary requirements, and how to create a lasting bond that will benefit pet and owner alike.

Why Own a Pet? 
Statistics show the majority of homes in the United States have one or more pets. People may choose pets for entertainment, to teach responsibility, or for companionship. A study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, has shown there is another reason to own a pet: People who own pets tend to be happier, healthier, and live longer lives. The CDC has linked pet ownership to reduced blood pressure, triglyceride levels, cholesterol levels, depression, and loneliness.

Owning a pet can also provide opportunities for increased exercise, outdoor activities, and socialization, which may be especially important for the elderly or disabled.

Pet ownership is also endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Before choosing a pet, it is wise to shop around. It may be difficult to find adequate information from pet stores or books promoting a specific type of animal. Be sure to learn the pros and cons of every pet before making a purchase. The pet should fit the owner's schedule and personality. Future pet owners are encouraged to visit animal shelters to give a chance to an animal that desperately needs a good home.

Pet Stories

An older gentleman has recently lost his wife. While he is dealing with his grief with a counselor and the love and support of his family, he realizes he desperately misses the companionship of a loving partner. The man's children discuss buying a pet for their father. The father agrees. The man and his golden retriever quickly create a bond that lifts the man's spirits. It also encourages the man to start taking long walks in a nearby park where he can chat with other pet owners.

While one may want to buy a pet for another, it is best to remember that choosing a pet is a very personal decision. The personality of the person should match the personality of the pet for a best fit. For example, if a person is very laid back and wants to put forth little effort, then perhaps a fish might be a good choice. If a person is more adventuresome, he might choose a snake or a colorful bird.

Some pets may look good on the outside, their characteristics may not match the package. For example, a little dog that might make a good lap dog can turn out to be a hyper, barking maniac when confronted with the slightest sound. Even though a person might seem to be a perfect candidate for a fish, perhaps he would co-exist much better with a bird or a gerbil.

When choosing a pet for a child, be sure to do the homework. There are many websites that show age appropriate pets and what they require in terms of space, care, exercise, and expense.

There are many things to consider when choosing a pet, such as:

  • Capability of the owner
  • Living space
  • Longevity of pet
  • General and medical care
  • Expense
  • Animal temperament


Pet ownership is beneficial in many areas, including socialization, exercise, and health benefits. Also, they can be just plain fun. A great deal of planning and thought should go into choosing the right pet, particularly if the pet is going to be cared for by a child. A child can easily be heartbroken if a relationship with a pet doesn't work out, and the pet has to be returned, sold, or given away.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (939 votes)

    Lesson 1: Choosing the Right Pet

    There are many different types of house pets; each requires a different type of care. In order to have a long and fruitful life with a house pet, it is important to choose the right pet for the right house. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Review Article: How do I choose the right pet for me?
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: Choosing the Right Pet

    Lesson 2: Age-Appropriate Pets

    Pets are a great addition to almost any household. However, it is important to ensure that the pet one chooses is appropriate if there are children in the house. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Review Article: 7 Tips for Choosing an Age- Appropriate Family Pet
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 2: Age-Appropriate Pets

    Lesson 3: How to Obtain a Suitable Pet

    Obtaining a suitable pet might not be as easy as one may think. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Review Article: Small Pet Guide
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 3: How to Obtain a Suitable Pet

    Lesson 4: Ability to Care for a Pet

    There's a lot more to caring for a pet than just feeding it. Pets require grooming, training, medical care, and lots of love. Additionally, pets must have the room to grow and thrive. Do you have what it takes to care for a pet? 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Pet Care Costs; How to Raise a Healthy Pet
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 4: Ability to Care for a Pet

    Lesson 5: General Care

    Diet is vital to keeping an animal happy and healthy for as long as possible. By following recommended guidelines for types and amounts of foods, a pet can live well beyond the average life span. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Review Article: Feeding Your Pet
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 5: General Care

    Lesson 6: At Home Care

    There is a great deal to be said about preventing health issues and general at-home care for pets. A few precautions and a solid routine will help your pet to live a long, happy life. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Review Article: Pet Safety Information
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 6: At Home Care

    Lesson 7: Medical Care

    All pets will be well served by preventive care. Much of this care simply requires paying attention to the animal and its behaviors. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Research Pet and Bird Hospital; Why do I need Pet Identification
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 7: Medical Care

    Lesson 8: Creating a Bond

    In the wild, most animal groups have an "alpha" leader. This means that one animal is dominant while others are submissive. Leadership and obeying orders comes naturally to these animals. This carries through to domesticated animals. 45 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Easy ways to Bond with your Bird; How to Bond with your Rabbit
    • Take Poll: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 8: Creating a Bond
    • Complete: The Final Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Describe choosing the right pet.
    • Summarize age-appropriate pets.
    • Recognize how to obtain a suitable pet.
    • Define the abilities needed to properly care for a pet.
    • Describe general care of your pets.
    • Summarize medical care needs of your pets.
    • Describe creating a bond with your pet, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
    • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
    • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
    • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
    • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
    • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: How to Care for House Pets
    Course Number: 8900127
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (939 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 0.2 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Instructor: Cathleen Chouinard
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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