A pet (or companion animal) is an animal kept primarily for a
person's company or protection, as opposed to working animals,
sport animals, livestock, and laboratory animals, which are kept
primarily for performance, agricultural value, or research.
The most popular pets are noted for their attractive appearances
and their loyal or playful personalities.
Pets commonly provide their owners (or guardians) physical and
emotional benefits. Walking a dog can supply both the human and pet
with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction. Pets can give
companionship to elderly adults who do not have adequate social
interaction with other people. There is a medically approved class
of therapy animals, mostly dogs, that are brought to visit confined
humans. Pet therapy utilizes trained animals and handlers to
achieve specific physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals
The most popular pets are likely dogs and cats, but people also
keep house rabbits; rodents such as gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas,
fancy rats, and guinea pigs; avian pets, such as canaries,
parakeets, and parrots; reptile pets, such as turtles, lizards and
snakes; aquatic pets, such as tropical fish and frogs; and
arthropod pets, such as tarantulas and hermit crabs.