Choosing a Petpet to match your lifestyle
Petpet ownership can offer many benefits such as improved health and social skills, as well as reducing stress and anxiety.
If you're thinking about acquiring a Petpet to join your neofamily there is more to consider than just their appearance. Different species will have different needs and personalities. To have a better chance at an ideal match here are some factors to take note of and some ways to narrow down that puddle of Petpets...
Your first method of selection should be to ask 'Where do I live?'; If you live underwater you need an aquatic Petpet with physiology like your own. If you're in and out of the water a lot, such as residents of Neopia's various islands you might consider a Petpet that is happy both on land and in water, or that might be content in a tank when not visiting the sea. Popular aquatic species include the Catamara, Peadackle and Pfish.
Land dwellers can break it down further into climates, sub-zero Terror Mountain, tropical Mystery Island, somewhere in between like Neopia Central, Roo Island or Kiko Lake. It can be tempting to get a Petpet that you desire for its looks or abilities, but you must consider their needs and where they will be happy, Wadjets and Scamanders for example, are desert dwellers and as such need heat, they won't like a cold climate.
If you inhabit somewhere out of this world like the space station you could be more suited to a Petpet that defies gravity, like the Globilol.
Some species will be able to cope with a habitat change, but others will need adaptations to be made, such as providing rocky ledges to clamber up, special foliage to hide amongst, and the neohome thermostat set to their liking.
Next you should consider the size of the Petpet you want to take home, for a number of reasons.
Firstly there is the pet to Petpet size ratio, it might be difficult for a huge Eyrie to carefully look after a Pikis, likewise, a tiny Flotsam will likely struggle to manage a devious Bartmus. That's not to say it can't be done with the right personalities, but thinking about size differences now might save you headaches in the future.
A second reason to take a Petpet's size into account is because it may need to fit in your neohome. If you're a land dweller buying an aquatic Petpet do you have room for an adequate size tank? Is your neogarden full of carefully tended flower beds, or is there space to run and play fetch?
Some Petpets will be happy with just a comfy bed in the corner of a room whereas others will take over the whole neohome.
So when you buy a young Petpet, always make sure you know how big they are going to grow!
Exercise and enrichment
What type of lifestyle do you currently have, and what changes are you willing to make for your new companion? Do you jog twice a day, or are you not even sure where the path at the end of your street leads to? Some species of Petpet will need lots of physical exercise and opportunities for mental stimulation to ensure they don't get bored which can result in behavioural problems and undesired behaviours such as chewing at neohome furniture and whining.
Do you have a demanding job that leaves you exhausted, or perhaps you regularly travel away from home for days on end? Busy pets can still enjoy companions in their lives, of course, you just may need to employ the services of a Petpet walker.
Petpets have varying exercise demands, some greatly benefit from twice-daily walks, if you both fly or swim this applies to your own mode of transport. Others prefer to take exercise into their own hands, perhaps whilst hunting for food in the wild. Some Petpets, such as Angelpi and Kadoaties, will respond well to simulated hunting play with a feather wand.
The Petpet supplies store has a plethora of toys that can help keep your pet active in mind and body. The Rainblug Chew Toy is cheap and long-lasting, it can be thrown around indoors or out giving your pet something to chase and catch with the added bonus of a squeaker inside for extra fun.
Scratching posts will provide somewhere to exhibit normal behaviours without ruining your couch. They even come in multi-level versions so your pet can leap up and take a nap when they've finished playing.
Not a factor often considered, but for some owners feeding their Petpets can be a challenge. Take for instance the herbivore Chomby faced with a bone gnawing Werhond. The aroma of fish may turn your stomach, but it's what a Delfin requires. Also factored in is the expense of feeding your new companion, If they require a diet of foliage imported from Shenkuu the cost will soon add up.
I recommend the book Cooking for your Petpet, not to be confused with Cooking with Petpets.
Some Petpets require more maintenance than others. Long hair will require daily grooming to stay free of tangles, and even short-haired Petpets may benefit from an occasional bath to keep their skin and hair healthy and free from Petpetpet infestations.
Claws, teeth, and hooves will need regular attention, done by a professional if you are not confident.
Robotic Petpets may need oil changes and other electrical tests.
Those kept in tanks and other enclosures will need regular cleaning which is a big responsibility that cannot be neglected. Old and soiled bedding must be removed, the area disinfected and then new fresh bedding put in to give your pet a clean and comfortable place to rest.
You can find out more about Petpets by talking to your local Petpet shopkeeper, or a specific species breeder. Responsible Petpet breeding and ownership means Neopia manages not to require Petpet rescue centres and adoption agencies, let's keep it that way!