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Newsletter Vol. 1 Issue #2
Is Your Child Ready for a Pet?
Is there any site more endearing, more “aww”-inspiring, than seeing a small which with a baby animal?
But what makes a good choice for your child’s first pet?
of all, never buy a pet on a whim. A pet is not a toy, to be played with
for a few weeks then tossed aside or ignored because your child has
gotten bored with it. That is why, idyllic television commercials to the
contrary, it might not be a good idea to give a pet present at holiday
time. Any animal is adorable as a baby, but what happens when it grows
older? Are you willing to accept responsibility for the pet should an
illness or accident occur?
some research on your prospective acquisition. It is better to find out
beforehand if your child has allergies rather than bring in a pet and be
forced to return it.
consideration: How hectic is your schedule? Although your child begs for
a little friend, swearing on all that is holy to take care of it, you
just know you’re the one who will end up as the major
caretaker. Think: how happy will you be to have to walk Rover on those
sub-zero winter nights? Do you have the time to give him the attention
and affection he deserves? Pets are creatures of habit and need a
don’t overlook the size of your living space: is it really large
enough for that St. Bernard?
there are the costs of ownership that often gets overlooked. You have
daily feedings, leashes, collars, toys accessories, and licenses. They
will all require medical care from time to time. You should also have
any pet neutered, unless you are planning on breeding them. There are
already more animals in shelters than homes for them.
Generally speaking, a dog might not be the best choice for a child under five years old. She can share in certain responsibilities (such as feeding and brushing), but should probably not walk the animal alone before the age of ten. You might also consider obedience training (for the dog, not your child. Then again . . .)
about a guinea pig, gerbil, hamster or rabbit. They can be lots of fun
and are relatively inexpensive to care for.
pigs are gentle, love attention and make a wonderful first pet. They
should be purchased before the age of three months old so they can get
accustomed to people more easily. They eat food pellets as well as leafy
green vegetables, but need a fresh source of Vitamin C since they cannot
manufacture it themselves.
good choices for first pets are gerbils and hamsters, which have
friendly, intelligent and curious natures. Mice and rats are also good
alternatives. Hamsters are smart but can be a bit “nippy,” so they
should only be handled with supervision. Kids – and adults as well –
get a kick out of watching hamsters play in “habitats,” tubes
connected to form a series of tunnels.
Rabbits are cuddly and affectionate as well. They can be kept in a hutch and taught to use a litter box. You should watch out for your wooden furniture and electrical wires, however, because they love to nibble. Another word of caution: rabbits should not be picked up suddenly because they may scratch if startled.
and reptiles, although lovely to look at, are not an ideal match for a
child. Birds can bite and reptiles require a lot or care and can carry
Salmonella. Fish are also beautiful to watch but are hardly interactive
enough for a child.
all this to think about, you might have second thoughts about giving in
to your youngster’s pleas to get that pet. But with proper
consideration beforehand and supervision afterwards, it’s well worth
the effort when you see your child cuddled up with her furry little
© 2016 Vet-on-Wheels