Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What To Expect When Adopting A Pet, Part II

(continued from previous post)

What exactly it takes to feed a pet. This is especially important when getting an exotic pet. For instance, do your kids really want to handle the maggots a sugar glider eats or see the python swallow mice? Would you want to feed live insects to a lizard? I certainly wouldn't. Even if you don't have a problem with insects, live crickets are really noisy!

Like I mentioned above, some animals will require special food to meet medical needs. Slater's food can be really expensive since his particular issues need more help than 'store-bought' urinary-health food provides. Some people will feed animals from the table, but that isn't always a good idea.

Your living space. Can your house 'handle' a pet? Big dogs often don't make good 'apartment dogs' because they need a lot of space to move. Don't even think about having them in the house if you have 'nice things'! Even cats or small dogs such as shih-tzus or chihuahuas can do a lot of damage if they put their minds to it. Cats-especially breeds such as the Manx or Sphynx-can climb and jump on pretty much anything,. You might be able to train them not to get on your counter or table, but anyone who has cats knows that they don't follow directions well!

Also, puppies will chew on everything that doesn't move and some things that do. My roommate's beagle once chewed through the adaption cord for her laptop. He wasn't electrocuted, but she had a heck of a time finding a new one on her social worker's schedule. That leads me to my next point.

Time. Does your family have the time to spend with a pet? For instance, can your busy family make time to walk or house-break a dog? Between our jobs, soccer practice and ballet lessons, your family might not. Can they give a dog or cat the attention they need? Even hamsters will need exercise time outside of their cages. Does your family have time for this? If not, it might be best to wait a bit.

These are just a few of the things you and your kids should consider when getting a pet. As I said above, you've probably already thought of these things. Your kids, however, might get caught up in the excitement and forget about them. Ask your children about these things to make sure they know what they're getting into! When taken care of, pets can add a lot of joy and love to our lives. Enjoy your new pet!

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