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Wandering 'round the Web: Virtual pet sites

June 10, 2008|By ELIZA SCHMIDT / Pulse Correspondent

Mom or dad allergic to fur? Do the 'rents think a pony in an apartment is a bad move? Dogs, cats and fuzzy li'l hamsters not cuttin' it for you?

One of these Web sites might just be the one for you! Listed below are three of my favorite virtual pet Web sites where you can care for, play with, love and sometimes even train your own virtual pets.

Neopets.com

At Neopets you can adopt a virtual pet that you can then take care of, play with, and train to battle other pets. Neopets also has a variety of games that you can play to earn Neopoints, the currency of Neopets.com. You can also buy Neocash with real cash, but I don't recommend it, as some items that can only be bought with Neocash expire after a certain number of days and it isn't clear which ones these are.

Pros: Most of the pets are very cute and if you have enough Neopoints or Neocash you can buy clothes for your Neopets and dress them up.

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You can also purchase petpets (pets for your pets) and petpetpets (pets for your pet's pets). There is a wide variety of games, so you'll probably find at least one or two you really like. There is a virtual newspaper called The Neopian Times which has many different stories, comics and articles, all written by users, many of which are actually quite funny.

Cons: Games are often replaced with newer versions that aren't always as good (though some are better). It's impossible to tell which clothing is wearable without owning it (not all clothing items can be worn by Neopets). This can make shopping for wearables difficult. The chat boards are often spammed with pointless and off-topic forums. You can only have a maximum of four pets.

Hints: Go to www.neopets.com/jelly to find the secret and elusive jelly world. If you go to the giant jelly you can take one helping of it once a day to feed to your Neopet. Some other places to get free food are the giant omelette: www.neopets.com/prehistoric/omelette.phtml?rand=8885 and the soup kitchen (if you have less then 3000 Neopoints) :www.neopets.com/soupkitchen.phtml

My user name is taneena25; feel free to Neomail me.

Ponyisland.net

At Pony Island you raise, care for and breed ponies. You can get a trial account for 20 days, but then you have to pay either $23 once a year or $14 every six months. There is only one game, but you get a daily salary of 1000 ponygold plus enough to feed your ponies.

Pros: Pony Island has a very friendly community where there's a place for everyone. If you're a good artist, you can show off and even sell your work on the art forum. You can also breed your ponies and try for special colors and patterns. If you prefer role playing, there's a forum for that, too. Another nice thing is the graphics are very well done and very cute. One of my favorite things about Pony Island is the complete absence of ads and pop-ups.

Cons: The most obvious one is that you have to pay for your account, but if it were free, there would be ads and that would stink. There is only one game called Triple Triad, which I have never played.

Hints: When a new breed of pony comes out, hold off on buying one as long as you can. They get much cheaper after a few weeks.

Webkinz.com

Webkinz seems targeted to younger children, but can still be fun for older kids. To sign up, you need to buy a Webkinz plushie in real life and with real money. It's the only pet Web site I know of where you can make your virtual pets walk around. Like all the other pet sites I know of, you are expected to take care of your Webkinz

Pros: The graphics are very cute and well done. The pets can actually walk around in rooms that you can decorate, which is very cool. There are a lot of fun games that aren't too hard or too easy (gotta love that). Your pets can visit your friends' pets in their rooms. You can also dress your Webkinz and customize your rooms with items from th W-shop. And of course, the real-life plushies are soft and lovable.

Cons: Again, you have to buy one or more of the plushies in order to sign up for an account. Also as I said, it seems to be more for younger kids and therefore is not for everyone.

So, hopefully, one of these sites will help with your pet needs. But if none of them fill the bill, don't lose hope. Here's a list of some other ones to check out:

www.nutrinopets.com

www.rescreatu.com

www.cyopets.com

www.horseland.com

powerpets.com

www.creaturebreeder.com

moutonking.com

www.animalacres.net

poultryland.com/about.php

www.gopetslive.com

petnebula.com

kenopets.co.uk

www.froggyville.com

www.grophland.com

zetapets.com

www.subeta.org

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