Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Best Family Pets!
Six months after my husband and I married, we adopted two male cats from the same litter whom we named Gonzo and Shanks. Fourteen years and three kids later, they are low men on the totem pole, relegated to the basement where they can watch the birds, sleep on the couch, and leave their special “packages” on the already dingy basement carpet (rather than on our beds).
Even though our cats were around long before our children, they have been a good fit for my family because...
...they are relatively low-maintenance; no walking, no barking, and no cages or tanks to clean.
It is essential that a family really considers how an animal will fit into the family’s life. An on-the-go family that is often away from home might discover that a dog who demands daily walks puts a kink in their style. A nice aquarium of tropical fish might offer them more relaxation. A family of very young children might want to shy away from amphibians and reptiles that harbor salmonella.
Dogs and cats are the traditional choice, but they tend to require more work, expense, and attention than say, a beta fish in a simple bowl. Hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, and amphibians are smaller and demand less veterinary expense, but they do require a considerable initial outlay of cash on equipment.
Whatever the pet, taking care of one offers parents a way to teach their children some great lessons about being responsible and considerate.
Contributed by Carrie Vittitoe, parent-writer for Today’s Family magazine.
*Editor’s Note: I found these cute pet contracts, from Shively Animal Clinic & Hospital, for your child to sign. They will really feel a sense of responsibility towards their dog or cat when they sign one!