Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Why Your Kids Should Have A Pet 3
Chapter 2 – Starting Out With Fish 6
Chapter 3 – Hamsters and Gerbils – Beginner Pets 9
Chapter 4 – What About Reptiles? 14
Chapter 5 – Do Birds Make Good Pets For Kids? 16
Chapter 6 – All About Rabbits 18
Chapter 8 – Dogs – The Ultimate Pet 28
Chapter 9 – Where To Shop For Pets 33
Chapter 10 – Pets To Avoid 38
Chapter 11 – Teaching Your Kids To Care for Their Pets 42
Chapter 12 – The Death Of A Pet 45
Chapter 1 – Why Your Kids Should Have A Pet
Most parents will, at one time or another, be asked by their children if they can have a pet of some sort. Kids and pets go together like ham and eggs on a Sunday morning. Most people agree that kids should have pets. Not only does having a pet teach a child the responsibility of caring for another living creature, but it creates a bond between the child and the animal.
Pets ask for very little but give unconditional love to their owners. Most children are interested in animals the minute they see these creatures. According to many psychiatrists, children who grow up with pets tend to be more caring towards other individuals.
In addition to creating empathy, pets can also raise a child’s self-esteem. A pet will always be there for a child, even when it seems as if nothing else is going right. There is a comfort that most people, children, and adults, find in being unconditionally loved.
Studies of heart attack victims indicate that those who have pets are four times more likely to recover from their heart attack than those without pets. Pets calm us. The stabilize us in a highly unstable world. No matter what is going on in your life, your pet will still want to be walked at a certain time and you will do it because it is part of your routine.
Routines are the mainstay of a healthy mind. Routines are just as important to children as they are to adults. One thing that children like to feel more than anything else is safe. One way to get security in your life and your child’s life is through routine. Pets force us to maintain a routine, making the entire family more balanced.
Just about everyone agrees that pets are good for kids. Even if it is a simple goldfish swimming around in a bowl, pets can teach children so many of life’s lessons that they are well worth the investment. The type of pet that you get your kids depends upon their age as well as your lifestyle.
When people think about getting a pet for their kids, they naturally think about getting a dog. A dog is the only pet that really depends on a social environment to survive. All dogs come from wolves somewhere down the line and wolves are the only wild animal that will cohabit with man. Dogs are natural companions for mankind. Other pets are merely creatures that live in the house that you get to enjoy.
Dogs can be quite a lot of work, especially if you get the dog as a puppy. There are certain dog breeds that you will want to avoid when you have small children, for both the safety of the children and the animals. Cats can make good pets, but they are not very tolerant of small children who may pull their tails or squeeze them. Hamsters, gerbils and other rodents are sometimes a wise choice for busy families who want to have a pet but don’t really have a lot of time to invest in the animal.
Other pets include fish and reptiles. Some people enjoy having birds as well. Rabbits are always a favorite pet among young children and can be held and played with like a cat, without having to worry about scratching.
Chances are that your child will enjoy any type of pet that you give them and learn to gradually take care of the animal. While some people prefer to start off small when it comes to introducing their children to pets, others jump right in with a dog. Either way, there is always a period of disruption before everything gets harmonized.
This book will teach you about kids and pets including what type of pets to get your kids, how to care for certain pets, which type of pets to avoid and how to get your children to take care of their pets.
Pets and children are a good combination and add joy to any household. Both are innocent and dependent and require a lot of patience. By getting your children a pet, you are not only teaching them responsibility, building their self-esteem and confidence and giving them the opportunity to care for another living creature, you are also giving yourself the gift of receiving unconditionally.
Chapter 2 – Starting Out With Fish
Many people who want to get pets for their kids start off small with fish. Before we go any further, here’s a little bit of insight – the joy you get out of a pet is usually measured by the amount of time you invest in a pet. While children may love watching fish swim around fish tanks, particularly the colorful tropical fish, they cannot take them out of the tank and play with them or take them for a walk around the block. Actually, they can but the fish will die and people will talk.
Getting started wish fish, however, is a good idea to see just how responsible your kids really are. Once you get a pet, it should be forever. It is not fair to the animal to bring it home and then get rid of it once you are tired of it. By getting fish, you can see just how far your children are willing to go when it comes to taking care of a pet.
There are two different types of fish tanks that you can get. Most people get fresh water tanks because they are much easier to care for. Others prefer saltwater tanks because you can get the more exotic fish and sea creatures in your tank. Taking care of a fish tank is a job for an adult or an older child as it is very involved and can be quite costly. If you want to get started with a small pet for your child, think about getting it a goldfish.
Goldfish can swim in fresh water and do not need a water filter. You can get a small tank and get your child to change the water every other day. It will be important to make sure that the temperature of the water is the same for the fish when the water is changed as a sudden change in temperature will most likely kill the fish.
To get your child set up with a goldfish, you can get a large goldfish bowl, a net, a container where the fish can be put when the water is being changed and goldfish food. You can get more than one goldfish in the bowl as it will be more interesting for your child and the fish. The goldfish should be fed a little every day and allowed to frolic. The water must be changed every other day or the fish will die.
Goldfish are very inexpensive as most of them are simply feeders for other fish. You will not only be teaching your child a lesson on how to care for a pet, you will be saving the life, temporarily, of goldfish who are doomed to be lunch for a bigger fish.
Goldfish do not live very long lives. With care, the fish may last two weeks. The reason they do not live long lives is because of natural selection – they are designed to be food for other bigger fish and do not need a long lifespan. Like other creatures with a short lifespan, they tend to breed quite a bit during their short lifespan, although it is unlikely that your child will have any fish eggs in their fishbowl.
In addition to the feeder goldfish, which usually cost pennies at a fish store, you can also get large, exotic goldfish. These fish will live a longer life, but should be kept in a tank with a filter. A filter in a fish tank suctions out the waste and replenishes the oxygen in the water so that the fish can survive. Fish breathe in the oxygen in the water through their gills and when the oxygen is all used up, the fish dies. This is why it is important to have a filter on a fish tank. However, when caring for feeder type fish that have a typically short lifespan, it might not be wise to invest in a filter right away.
By starting out slow with goldfish, your child can see if he or she likes the idea of caring for the fish. Your child will also have to experience the death of the fish, and this can be a valuable life lesson as well. Unlike a cat or a dog, the fish does not have a long life span and will not form a bond with your child, however, the death of the fish can be very traumatic for a child.
While starting out with a goldfish as a pet can give your child a good indication of what it is like to care for another creature, it is really only advised for older children who understand the concept of death and the child should be advised early on that the fish does not live a long time. You do not want to make the child feel that he or she somehow caused the death of the fish, as this would do more harm than good when it comes to getting a pet for your child to raise his or her self-esteem.
Your child may actually enjoy taking care of his or her fish to the point that you want to invest in a tank. This can be a great hobby for both young and old alike and a clean fish tank can be a beautiful focal point in any room. People who learn to care for fish often have a hobby that they can enjoy throughout their lives.
Taking care of fish and learning about their lives can be a great way for your child to explore the world of pets as well as teach them a bit about oceanography. The care of the fish tanks and the fish will give your child a sense of self-worth and raise their self-esteem. Your child may not be able to play with the fish or take them out for walks, but the sound of a fish tank is very soothing and has been recommended for people who have trouble going to sleep.
Starting off small with goldfish will give your child a chance to learn how to care for another creature and may open a whole new world for your child. Or, it may be a gateway to caring for bigger pets.