Are you a single person in the market for a personable pet? According to owners of pet shops and kennels, "small" is big these days.
This is especially true when it comes to dogs, said kennel owner Tom Bunch of Denver, Colo."Many people are either moving to condominiums or have limited yards, so they're looking for a smaller animal," he said. "Of course, people who have large yards or live in the mountains still go for big dogs, such as a Siberian husky."
What follows is an informal survey of the pets-for-singles trend.
DOGS: Almost any kind of poodle, Lhasa apso, cocker spaniel, miniature schnauzer or shihtzu appeals to small-dog lovers. Popular large breeds include golden retrievers, American Eskimo dogs and Labrador retrievers.
CATS: Long-haired cats tend to be the breeds of choice among feline fanciers. They include Persians and Himalayans. But in terms of pure sales, "mutts" top the list. Said one store owner: "People can buy a mutt for the cost of the shots, which is generally about $30. Only people with a lot of money to spend are going to buy a purebred, because they want (registration) papers on it and they want to breed it."
BIRDS: Because pet birds are strictly indoor creatures, the variety tends to be wider and popularity is largely determined by price, merchants say. But in terms of overall sales, the list is led by cockatiels and parakeets, closely followed by finches and such "pocket parrots" as the gray cheek. Larger, more exotic parrots are also in demand, among them blue fronts, orange wings and yellow napes.