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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – “Man’s best friend” is the timeless and favorite pet, but now there’s more competition in the race to gain a place in a new home. Many Costa Rican families now fill that space with more exotic pets. The Russian hamster, Peruvian cuilo and African hedgehogs, have captured the hearts of many.

    “What most are looking for are dogs that are not as common as chizu, Pomeranian, bulldog and also cats. But lately things have changed and people are looking for rodents, like the Peruvian cuilo, African hedgehogs, hamsters and even iguanas,” said Gerson Arias, manager of Ruffos Pet Shop in Carthage.

    Arias added that in the case of African hedgehogs, most buyers are young people who, regarding their little space, time and account, prefer these animals that do not require much investment. Yes, one has to note that an exotic taste like this, can cost 35,000 colones or more.

    Meanwhile, the customers of Bonilla Yensy Pets Market in San Pedro are mainly young people who seek exotic animals like hedgehogs. He said the holiday season in December and July and October are the seasons of pets for sale, as people have more free time and decide to get one. He added that right now is probably atypical as the World Cup fever has not increased sales.

    The hamster is the mascot which many parents choose to introduce their children to to instill a sense of responsibility. Bonilla explained that many looking for pets are families with children between 7 and 8.

    For her part, Dr. Perla Fallas, My Pets Veterinary, explained that whatever type of pet you choose, you must first inform yourself which needs it has. Also when you´re looking for a dog, as an example for children, it is advisable to look for a breed that is small like beagles, schnauzer or a Maltese Pekingese. And remember that bathings and pet hairdressers are important, but even more important are vaccines.

    The specialist explained that if you purchased an exotic pet as African hedgehogs, keep in mind that like any wild animal it has to be tamed. Those born in captivity are already a little more controlled but its function is basically ornamental.” In the case of hedgehogs they can be caressed but you have to know how, since their spines may have toxins that can generate inflammatory reactions depending on the metabolism of the person.

    “Finally,” he emphasized, “If you want to get a pet for a child, it is best when the child has a sense of responsibility to take care of it.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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