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●Kids and Pets Dog Books for Kids New dog to the Family Dog Breed Pictures
Dog Movies for Kids Tips for traveling with your pet Tips for camping with your pet Homemade Dog Treats
Pets and Halloween ●White House Pets    

Pets can play an important role in your life as well as provide a constant source of enjoyment friendship and fun.  They provide us with loyalty, companionship, nurturing, intimacy, love and affection as well as physical benefits.  My family recently purchased our first puppy "Chloe" who is pictured on this page.  My daughter is 10 and my son is 13 and it has been a great experience for them.  They realized when we went on vacation for spring break, an left the puppy with their aunt for a week, just how attached they have become to her and how much they missed her and worried about her well being.  This compassion is not something that can be taught it is something that must be learned!

Benefits to Children Having Pets....

Owning a pet will allow children to develop compassion, understanding, and non-verbal communication skills.  Showing children the importance of caring for another creature's survival can result in learning many life lessons such as patience, kindness and attentiveness as well as responsibility, discipline and respect for the animal.  In addition, children acquire and develop social skills that they will use throughout their life.  They learn to treat their pet kindly and this will be reflected in the way that they treat people and the relationships that they have with others.
Feeding the cat, talking to the parrot or just playing with the animal can serve as fun times for the kids and replace television and video games.  Walking or running with a dog is exercise and helps to promote good health.

Children can learn many life lessons from their animals.  They learn loyalty, love and comfort from their interaction with their pet.  In addition, they can learn about birth, illness, death and mourning and how to cope with each emotion.   For many children especially those without siblings animals become their best friend.  They are comforted by the pet being there with them.


Parents Responsibilities....

Remember that children are children and that you as the parent will be taking on a major commitment that in many cases spans a number of years. You may be caring for an animal after your children leave for college!   It is like having a baby all over again only this time it does not grow up and become more independent.  So before you purchase the pet make sure you are prepared for the commitment.  The last thing that you want to do is bring a pet into the household and have the children become attached and then have to get rid of it.  Once that animal enters your home it becomes part of the family!

As the role model for your children you should discuss how the family will share the responsibilities of caring for the new pet.  Maybe even make a chart that displays the responsibility and the person in charge. This will help to keep the disagreements to a minimum and care giving to a maximum.  Remember that pets deserve our time and love everyday and if this does not fit your lifestyle then maybe you should not own a pet.

Guidelines for age-appropriate pets as suggested by the ASPCA:  


Under age 3 At this age you should not bring in a new pet however you must introduce the baby to current pets.
Age 3 - 5 A great pet for this age is a guinea pig.  They do not mind being held.  Young children can help with their care by filling a water bottle or placing food in the dish.  All activities must still be supervised by an adult.
Age 5 - 10 At this age good pets are hermit crabs, fish, hamsters or gerbils.  The kids are capable of cleaning out the cages/tanks and can make sure they are fed.
Age 10- 13 This is the right age to consider a dog, cat or rabbit.  The children are old enough to help with feeding, grooming, walking and cleaning the animal.  In addition, they can participate in the training the animals.
Age 14- 17 Birds and aquariums are a good choice for this age group basically because the extra-curricular activities keep them out of the house for a great deal of time.

Another tip in choosing a pet is to make sure the pet and the child meet before a pet is brought home. This will help determine what animal your child is most comfortable with and may also let you know if there is a potential allergy problem.  Also, another good tip is to use collars PetSafe for training and to instill good behavior in your dog.

Selecting a Dog Breed....

It is important to spend some time researching the type of dog that will fit your lifestyle.  Make a list of the traits that you are looking for in a dog.  There are many internet sites that contain this type of information.  Some questions that you should consider having answered about the breed are listed below:


Does the dog need a lot of exercise? 
How is the breed with children?    
What is the cost?  
Does the breed have any known health conditions? 
How large with the dog get?
How often does the dog need to be groomed?
Is the dog a barker?
What is the disposition of the dog -- calm or hyper?

Does the dog shed?

Is there a breeder that is local to your home?