Pets We Secretly Dream Of


We love dogs, cats and all domestic pets. Then there are those animals you see on wildlife programs, sometimes they’re so cute, so clever, or for some reason make us say ‘I want one’.

Here, we decided to share some of our thoughts on the animals we’d love to have as pets but know we shouldn’t.

A Serval or Savannah Cat


Sevrals were first domesticated back in Egyptian times but you only have to look at them to see they’re still wild cats. Savannah cats are cross breeds between domestic and serval cats.

Why We’d Love One

They’re beautiful, looking like miniature leopards, and have you clocked those gorgeous ears?! Breeders say that when they’re properly raised and domesticated they’re not aggressive, but coming in at 40-50 pounds the serval would make an impressive bugler deterrent.

Why We Know We Shouldn’t

They need specialist food and a lot of space, the average urban garden just wouldn’t do. Oh, and they come from Africa so we’re not convinced the British climate would suit them, they’d hog the fire!

A Meercat


Why We’d Love One

They’re cute, they’re intelligent, they’re funny, they make the most adorable range of noises, and they’re BRAVE. If you haven’t yet seen footage of meercats taking on scorpions or even cobras do check it out.

Why We Know We Shouldn’t

They like to live in groups of 20 or more. It would be cruel to just have one, but they’re burrowing creatures so a mob would make a mess of the garden. And they always seem very happy living in the wild.

An Owl


Why We’d Love One

Owls are truly one of nature’s masterpieces of design, from the tips of their ears to the end of their feathers, which are serrated to allow silent flight.

Why We Know We Shouldn’t

We can’t see what’s in it for the owls, if ever there’s a creature that’s designed to fly free it’s this one.

A Dolphin


Why We’d Love One

They never stop smiling. Research shows that they’re as intelligent and self-aware as humans, scientists have suggested that they should be regarded as ‘non-human people’ and in fact India recognises them as such. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with a non-human person?!

Why We Know We Shouldn’t

Aside from the problem of providing a suitable environment you clearly can’t keep a person as a pet, even a non-human person. It’s not so much that we ‘want’ a dolphin but we’d love the chance to get to know one better.

A Hedgehog


Why We’d Love One

They’re one of Britain’s best loved wild creatures, sweet, rather shy and a gardener’s best friend for they way they eat slugs and other grubs.

Why We Know We Shouldn’t

Prickles and fleas are good reasons not to have hedgehogs as a house pet, but it’s a great idea to do all you can to encourage wild hedgehogs to live in your garden.

A Fox


Why We’d Love One

Watch them move and you’ll see they combine the energy of dogs with the reactions of cats. They are very intelligent, some people do seem to have luck in domesticating foxes

Why We Know We Shouldn’t

Tricky one!! They’ve adapted pretty well to urban environments but we’re not convinced that they’d be at all easy to house train and if you’ve ever had the delight of cleaning a dog after it’s rolled in fox poo you’ll now just how stinky it is!

A Wolf


Why We’d Love One

They’re the ancestors of our most loyal animal companions, how could your Balham Doggy Centre team not find the idea of living with a wolf fascinating?

Why We Know We Shouldn’t

Dogs are better! After at least 16 000 and maybe as many as 32 000 years of living together we humans and our canine pets get along pretty well and we’ve an idea that the novelty of wolf ownership would wear off pretty quickly.