The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

Forget about the old “cats vs. dogs” argument, let’s get exotic. Everyone knows that pets are very popular amongst many households, but which pet is truly the best? Staff Writers Adeline Harper and Mateya Petrova dispute which pet is the best, geckos or foxes?

The smaller, the better

Amongst the many pets to choose from, many choose a dog or cat, but which pet is the greatest? As cuddly and cute dogs and cats are, they are not the best when thinking about how easy they are to maintain. If pet owners need a small, cute, and easy-to-take-care-of pet, then the African fat-tailed gecko is the best choice.

African fat-tails can be found in almost any pet store and some special morphs can be sold by breeders. The cost of these geckos can range from $70-$300 depending on the seller and the rarity of the morph. The yearly cost is around $360, which is half of the yearly cost of a cat ($634), and 14% the cost of a Fennec Fox ($2,600). 

The yearly costs for geckos come from the things necessary to take care of these geckos, such as food, which runs out about every two months since geckos need to be fed once every 1-2 days. A pack of 100 live mealworms costs about $25, depending on the size of the mealworms. 

Other things that are needed to take care of geckos that usually are bought as an initial purchase with the geckos are water, a hiding space, substrate, a terrarium, cleaning supplies, and a heat source(s).

When buying geckos, it may be hard to choose what to buy for them, but most pet stores will sell “packages” that contain all the essentials to take care of your gecko. Plus, these essentials usually do not need to be bought more than once, since they will last a long time, decreasing the overall cost. 

Besides the low cost, African fat-tailed geckos are docile and can enjoy being held. They are allergen free, since they do not have any fur. Thus, they also do not produce large messes of leaving hairballs and shedded hair around the house. 

Geckos also are not climbers and move slowly, so worrying about them escaping is non-existent. Plus, they are quiet creatures and do not need attention 24/7, so they are perfect for people with busy lives. 

Owning one of these tiny friendly creatures can make anyone happy, since they always look like they are smiling and will sit in their owner’s hand. 

Most people are known to have a dog or a cat, but being basic is boring, so call your local pet store and pick up a gecko today. Literally!

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Fennec foxes, the smarter choice

Foxes are a smart species. They are also friendly. Yes, they are wild animals, but they make great friends with humans. 

The fennec foxes act both like cats and dogs because they like to be treated like a pet, and they love cuddles. If you are planning on adopting a fox you have to have the space for them. 

They take a lot of responsibility, but they do make a great, fun, and loving friend to have around, unlike geckos. Geckos are cute, but they require a lot of work and it is really hard to catch one. You have to feed them live bugs. Who wants to keep bugs alive in a bag and give it to them by hand? 

If you are looking for an exotic pet you should definitely get a fennec fox. They make a great family friend to have around and keep you busy. Fennec foxes are great at surviving and providing for their own.  

The fennec foxes cost an average of $2,000-$2,500. They are more expensive than other animals, due to them being known as exotic pets and their need for special care. Fennec foxes are banned to own in some states like Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, and Washington. Some of the east coast states have to have a licensed permit to own one, due to them being wild animals. 

Fennec foxes are omnivores, meaning their diet is insects, birds, rabbits, small reptiles, plants, fruits, and rodents. In order to take care of a fennec fox inside your house, you have to lower the humidity, keep the ventilation going non-stop, and avoid dust in your house.  

Foxes do have to be kept in their natural habitat, so they have to be outside in order for them to feel like they are still out in the wild. 

If you plan on keeping it outside, make sure that you have a big backyard or land and place a huge outdoor enclosure with a fenced area with trees and rocks and food supply for them to eat, sleep and play with. That way they can still be living happily and not have too much human contact. 

Fennec foxes are loyal, smart, loving, and social, which makes them great house pets, as long as their needs and care are being well taken care of for those who are very social.

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