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Choosing a Family Pet

If you don't already have a family pet, the topic of bringing one into your home will certainly occur, as your child gets older.  It just seems that animals and children are attracted to each other.

Whatever the reason or desire, a pet can be a positive addition to your family if you make the right choices from the start.  So when your child begins to ask for a pet, arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible and think before you speak.

Also read our information page

"Teaching Kids Animal Compassion"

Consider the commitment level involved.

Deciding between a dog and a fish are two very different commitment levels. Fish do not require you to be home during the day but may not offer the interaction level you desire from your pet.

Determine the space requirement for your pet.

If you are living in a three room apartment, a German Shepard probably isn't your best choice of dogs but a smaller breed would do fine.

Does your time permit a high maintenance animal?

There are advantages to choosing a cat over a dog or fish over a bird.  Look at the hours you are at home and compare them against the feeding and walking needs of the pets in question. You might soon realize that you are never home to walk a dog at night.

What is your tolerance for pet hair?

If white hair on your dark carpet would drive you mad or your allergies go into overdrive at the slightest detection of hair, a turtle might be more your speed.

Take advantage of the information available online.

There are plenty of sites, chat rooms and message boards that can provide useful information on the species or breed you select.

Take advantage of it to confirm your decision.

Find the animal.

When you finally determine the pet that best meets your family needs, remember there are plenty of good pets waiting to be adopted from animal shelters and rescue organizations. Contact your local Humane Society or go to online listing of animals in shelters. 


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