Now that the holidays are winding down, you might be considering adopting a pet. However, before you rush into anything, stop to think about what pet is right for you and your family. Just because you’re a lover of big dogs, doesn’t mean that a Saint Bernard is the right fit for your household. Likewise, some people, like my friend Brad for instance, can’t be trusted to own an ant farm. (Sorry Brad). So before you rush off to an animal shelter, take this short quiz to determine what type of pet suits your family’s needs. Write down your answers to the following 10 questions, and then look below for your results. This quiz is a general guide to help you determine which pet matches your lifestyle. As always, talk to your area animal shelter for more advice on adopting. You can also find homeless animals online at

1. How much work are you willing to put into a pet?

A. I’ll meet its needs to the best of my ability. Even if that means getting up at 7 a.m. to walk it.

B. I’d be a very responsible owner, but I don’t like having to take walks too often.

C. I’d like something that can take care of itself most of the time; but one that would be affectionate to me.

D. I need a pet that’s not going to take up too much of my time and not need too much attention.

2. What is your lifestyle?

A. Active.

B. Somewhat active.

C. Somewhat laid back.

D. Very laid back.

3. How affectionate are you?

A. I’m VERY affectionate! I love everyone and everything.

B. I’m moderately affectionate.

C. I’m a little moody. Sometimes I’m very affectionate and sometimes I may be a little cold.

D. I’m not the most affectionate person in the world.

4. What type of home do you have?

A. Large to medium-size home

B. Small-size home

C. Apartment

D. Mobile home

5. How active/noisy is your household?

A. Very active and very noisy. There are lots of people and lots going on all the time.

B. Somewhat active and noisy.

C. Mostly calm and quiet, but it can get noisy once in awhile.

D. Very quiet. We read and watch TV the majority of the time.

6. How clean is your household?

A. Not very clean, I don’t mind seeing a messy house.

B. Somewhat clean; messes don’t bother me too much.

C. I clean thoroughly once a week.

D. Very clean. I clean almost everyday.

7. What type of fencing does your residence have?

A. Full fence

B. Invisible fence

C. Partial fence

D. No fence

8. What needs do you want a pet to fulfill?

A. Recreation/exercise

B. Security/protection

C. Companionship/relaxation

D. I don’t really want a pet, but my kids want one

9. What qualities do you look for in a pet?

A. Dependency

B. Friendliness/good with kids

C. Lap dog/cat

D. Independence/very low maintenance

10. Where will your pet live during the day?

A. In an outside run. Plus I’d walk it at least once a day.

B. Inside, but I’ll take on a walk as much as I can.

C. Wherever it wants inside.

D. Inside in a cage.


If you answered mostly A’s, your home would be best suited for an active dog of these breeds (mixed breeds of these types as well):

Dogs with VERY high exercise requirements:

Herding dogs

Australian Cattle dog

Australian Shepherd

Collie (any type: Australian, Bearded, Border…)



Boston Terrier

Jack Russell

West Highland Terrier

Wheaton Terrier

Dogs with HIGH exercise requirements:

Working dogs



Chow Chow

Doberman Pinscher

English Bull Dog

German Shepherd

Pit Bull Terrier


Siberian Husky

Schnauzer (giant and miniature)

Sight/scent hounds

Afghan hound




Sporting dogs

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Golden Retriever

Gordon Setter

Labrador Retriever

Portuguese Water Dog

If you answered Mostly B’s, your home would be best suited for a moderate dog or an outgoing cat or rabbit (mixed breeds of these types as well):

Dogs with MODERATE exercise requirements:

Lap dogs

Bichon Frise



Lhasa Apso


Miniature Pinscher



Shih Tzu

Silky and Yorkshire Terriers

Gentle giants

Basset Hound

Saint Bernard

Bernese Mountain Dog

Great Dane


Scent hounds



Cats with outgoing personalities



Maine Coon


Rabbits with outgoing personalities

Small rabbits: (2-6 lbs)



Mini Lop

Medium rabbits: (6-9 lbs)



Large rabbits: (9-11 lbs)


English Lop

If you answered Mostly C’s, your home would be best suited for a quiet, laid back cat with one of these breeds (mixed breeds of these types as well):

Cats with laid back personalities



Scottish Fold

If you answered Mostly D’s, your home would be best suited for a bird, rodent, or goldfish





Guinea Pig






County Animal Services is providing a Home for the Holidays $25 discount on all dog and cat adoptions through December 31, 2010. Adopting a dog will be $65; adopting a cat will be $40; adopting a rabbit will be $25. Every adoptable animal has been medically screened, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered.

There are over 1,000 animals awaiting adoption at Santa Barbara County Shelters. Visit the animals whose only wish this holiday season is for a home to call their own. Bring a little love home for the holidays. Adopt a shelter animal. However, as much as I want to encourage Home for the Holidays, adopting an animal should not be a surprise for a friend or even your own family. Visit the shelter together. Decide on which animal to adopt together.

County Shelter Locations

• Santa Barbara Shelter, 5473 Overpass Road

• Lompoc Shelter, 1501 West Central Avenue

• Santa Maria Animal Center, 548 West Foster Road


Adoptable Pet of the Week

Kenya is a petite short-haired orange-striped sweetie who enjoys showing her affection with outstretched paws. This senior citizen is shy and slow to warm up, but once she knows you will purr like crazy. She responds to ocean and bird sounds by becoming totally relaxed! Kenya would do best in a quiet atmosphere with gentle adults and no small children. She is, however, not afraid of dogs.

To meet available cats needing loving homes, visit ASAP at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, 5473 Overpass Road (just beyond the Humane Society). Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call the ASAP office at 683-3368 or visit their website at


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