Each of us in childhood wanted a dog. Or a cat. Better yet, a dog, a cat, a fish, and a monkey, like my uncle’s on the embankment.
We grew up, became parents. And now our children want to organize a zoo at home.
It is difficult to answer “no” to a child who asks to take home a homeless kitten with tears in his eyes. Parents should not succumb to momentary emotions, but need to think through the situation a few steps ahead.
To Have Pets Or Not?
Before answering this difficult question, it is worth examining the problem from all sides.
- Decide what kind of animal your child would like, and what kind you want to have.
- Learn as much as possible about the conditions of keeping the future pet. Evaluate soberly whether you can provide a place at home, a feeding schedule, etc.
- Be sure to calculate the financial costs: from buying the animal to the cost of feed each day. Don’t forget about veterinarian services and specialized literature.
- Discuss introducing a new family member among those who live with you permanently or often come to your home. Will it bother them, if anyone has allergies. It will be a shame if, for example, the mother-in-law can no longer come and sit with the children just because you decided to have a cute pet.
- Remember the most important thing: an animal is not a toy, but also not a person! No matter how cute the animal may seem, it can bite, scratch, and not want you to stroke it. Not all pets are trainable. Each animal needs its own place, personal space, food, light, walks, vaccinations, and much more.
- Very often, a child wants an animal because he lacks attention or has no friends. Try to spend more time with your child, take him to sports, carry him away with creative pursuits. Perhaps, after a while, the desire to have a furry friend will be forgotten.
My friend’s son really wanted a dog. Every day he showed her drawings, which schematically, but understandably, depicted a happy family: mother, son, and dog. The drawings were on the mirror, on the hood of the car, in the laptop, and even in the sugar bowl. After long conversations, tears, and resentments, my mother suggested starting with … a hamster. A house, food, a drinking bowl, and the hamster itself were solemnly bought. Of course, the son said that he would clean, feed, walk with the pet!
The boy played with a friend for a couple of days. A week later, the pet’s house was dirty, the hamster was hungry and boring. As a result, the hamster moved to the residential area of the school, and the boy somehow forgot about his passionate desire to have a dog.
But if, nevertheless, the child insists and asks very much, and your parental heart has already trembled … check out the approximate picture of what threatens your house when a new tenant appears.
Many people think that a cat is the most unpretentious tenant. You don’t need to walk, you don’t need to train however, not all so simple.
• Small size: the cat does not take up much space and, in case of illness of the animal, the owner can easily lift it and take it to the doctor.
• Ability to leave and return on their own in case you plan to release the cat outside.
• Positively affect a person (normalize blood pressure in the elderly, lie down on a sore spot). By the way, there is a special direction in medicine, feline therapy (from the Latin “files” – a cat), which deals with this influence of cats on people. People with serious mental illness, heart disease, and brain damage noticeably relax and calm down in the presence of a cat. According to some reports, cat purring and petting, even accelerate wound healing.
• Cats do not require a lot of space and a separate house.
• Cute, fluffy, love to play.
• They roam at night and sometimes scream wildly.
• Scratches furniture, wallpaper, can use your shoes as a toilet. The smell of cat urine is extremely difficult to remove from carpets and upholstered furniture, even with the help of special products.
• It is necessary to resolve issues with offspring.
• Wool and odor remain throughout the home.
• It is necessary to train to the tray, play, spend at least 2 hours a day so that the animal is kind and affectionate.
• Each time before leaving, you must decide with whom to leave the pet.
A cat is a good option even for a small apartment, provided that no one is allergic to wool. If you picked up a cat on the street or bought it from your hands, be sure to show it to the veterinarian first. Wash, get the necessary vaccinations, and only then introduce her to the children.
Man’s faithful friend is, of course, a dog. It seems: bring home a puppy, and now there is always someone who will faithfully look into the eyes and bark happily. But how much work must be invested so that an intelligent and devoted handsome dog grows from a lump pissing on the floor!
• The dog is smart and loyal.
• Good for training.
• Has a positive effect on sick people. There is a direction in therapy with the use of dogs – Canis therapy (from the Latin “canis” canis – dog). It is used in psychotherapeutic work with people who do not make contact well: autists, people with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy. Animal therapy using dogs helps to open up closed and insecure children and children who have gone through a difficult life situation.
• Communication with a dog makes ordinary people kinder, more caring, more responsive.
• The dog is a reliable guard of the house and apartment. With proper training, she will not let a stranger in, she will guard the owner, especially children, outside the house.
• You need to walk 2-3 times a day. In any weather. Very early in the morning!
• With dogs of hunting breeds it is necessary to go hunting or at least just to nature.
• The puppy will chew all around. Especially sorry for the shoes and equipment. Out of boredom or harm, it can, just like a cat, rip off the wallpaper.
• Each dog must be taken for training, trained, preferably taken to exhibitions.
• By purchasing a puppy, you join a dog club whose whole life (and decent money) revolves around the dog.
• Don’t be surprised if you can’t go on vacation. A dog is not a cat, friends are unlikely to readily accept such a guest.
• The dog needs space for life, a place in the house.
• Dogs bark! And not at the time when you would like.
• If you choose a non-bald Italian Greyhound, be prepared for the fact that from time to time everywhere in the house will be wool.
• Preparing dog food takes time and a refrigerator. If this is a commercial food, then also a lot of money.
• Outbreaks of aggression are not uncommon among dogs of “fighting” breeds. There have been fatal cases of dogs attacking their own owners.
When you buy a dog for a child, be prepared for the fact that he will not be able to do most of the activities on his own. A dog in the house is a radical change in the lifestyle of the whole family.
An aquarium in a house is perceived by many people not as a house for fish, but as interior detail. Meanwhile, fish require a lot of attention and care.
• They are silent!
• They live in confined spaces and you always know where to find them.
• Fish do not show themselves in any way, do not touch the owner.
• The aquarium is a living, constantly changing picture. In fact, this is a whole world behind glass.
• Observing fish allows you to relax after a stressful day, has a beneficial effect on the nervous system.
• Young children fall asleep faster near aquariums.
• Aquariums, especially large ones, are good at humidifying indoor air.
• According to the teachings of Feng Shui, the aquarium, located in the right place, harmonizes the energy in the house, attracts luck and money.
• Cleaning the aquarium is a laborious procedure that needs to be done at least once a week.
• Quite expensive equipment: the aquarium itself, cabinet, filters, heating pads, etc.
• Habitat control: it is necessary to constantly monitor the water temperature and other indicators.
• Special food, sometimes live.
• Aquariums with live plants grow quickly.
• You can’t just leave the fish and do it. It is necessary to maintain the created habitat, otherwise, they will die.
• If the dead fish is not removed in time, the rest of the inhabitants of the aquarium will eat it.
The child can choose the fish that he likes and watch how it grows. It may be worth starting with a small aquarium so that the little owner understands how time-consuming it is.
At the sight of cute budgerigars, the heart of a child and an adult will tremble. It would seem that there is such a thing: a spacious cage, food, toys. And it seems strange when consultants warn: it takes a lot of strength, patience, and love for a little bird to chirp merrily in your house.
• Cheerful parrot cheers up.
• Nice to wake up to the chirping of a bird.
• Food is available and inexpensive.
• Budgerigar is able to memorize and reproduce up to 300 words.
• The parrot cage does not take up much space.
• Parrots can be trained
• Cleaning of the cage and the surrounding area: at least twice a day.
• The bird must be released in order to fly, which means that droppings, feathers, particles of parrot skin, bits of food will be scattered throughout the house.
• They gnaw everything around: wallpaper, furniture, books.
• They get up at 5-6 in the morning and wake everyone up with their songs.
• Not all parrots, even budgies, can be taught to speak.
• If the parrot lives alone, you need to communicate with him regularly. Otherwise, they die of loneliness.
• May bite and hurt badly!
When a feathered person settles in your apartment, be prepared that there will be many times more garbage. Try to start a big cleaning one day with your child and eventually tell him: “Tired? And with the parrot, we will do it every day! ”
Little is known about turtles as pets. In pet shops, you will be shown small creatures, which, if you are lucky, will grow up to a 30-centimeter reptile in a couple of years. At the same time, turtles are very cute and, with proper care, become favorites of the whole family.
• It is enough to walk with a turtle only in summer in good weather. The water turtle can be released for a short run in the apartment.
• She can be permanently in the terrarium.
• Feed an adult land turtle only 2-3 times a week.
• When handled properly, turtles live long lives.
• Most of the turtles are smuggled into the country. Accordingly, it is impossible to predict the state of her health. By the way, the turtle can be a carrier of salmonellosis.
• They need special equipment: terrarium (or aqua terrarium), filter, heaters.
• As it grows, the turtle should be transplanted into a larger house or aquarium.
• You can only feed turtles with specialized food.
• The turtle should not be allowed to come into contact with other pets.
• Water turtles bite very painfully. There are legends about how large turtles bit off their fingers in very young children.
• There are very few specialists in turtle diseases, it is possible that the pet cannot be helped with the disease.
In the wild, land turtles are hibernating. At home, it is rarely possible to create a natural environment. The animal may not fall asleep for 2-3 months, but it may become lethargic and may even get sick.
It should be explained to the child that the turtle is not a playmate. She will swim or sleep in her house and it is impossible to force her to do anything.
It is difficult to imagine more cute and mischievous animals than rabbits. It seems that at home they will just as cheerfully jump, gnaw on cabbage, and allow themselves to be squeezed. And who would have thought that insidious wire destroyers are hiding behind these fluffy faces!
• You don’t have to walk with your rabbit every day. You can take a walk in the summer, in good weather, and that’s enough.
• Are clean and easy to the toilette.
• They quickly become attached to the owners.
• Two rabbits, especially females, play very nicely with each other.
• Rabbit, growing with the child, caring and affectionate playmate.
• Rabbits are always a sea of charm, positiveness, and love.
• Wool of especially fluffy breeds of rabbits, skillful hands can be used for knitting socks or mittens for children.
• The rabbit must have a cage, otherwise, the whole house will turn into its territory (by the way, they, like cats, tend to “mark” it).
• Prepare for torn wallpaper and chewed wires.
• If the cage is not cleaned once a day, a specific and very persistent odor appears.
• The rabbit is freedom-loving, it cannot be squeezed, it will not lie on its knees like a cat.
• Constantly on the move: running, jumping, digging, gnawing.
• To tame a rabbit, you need to spend a lot of time with him, while not touching, not disturbing him.
• Food must be of good quality, sufficiently varied, and always fresh.
• The apartment will be littered with fur, down, the remains of gnawed food and things.
When buying a rabbit for a child, remember: the animal can severely scratch and even injure itself.
Monkeys are, of course, one of the most interesting animals. We can say that you start a constant fountain of energy and fun at home, positive and … not always pleasant surprises.
• Lovely, kind, funny, intelligent creatures.
• Easy to train.
• In a good attitude, they respond with devoted love.
• The child finds a friend who will wait for him, amuse, willingly support the game.
• Monkeys are clean: wipe their mouths after eating, sort out their fur.
• The monkey is very expensive. It is extremely difficult to buy these animals legally; buying on the black market entails a lot of problems, ranging from animal diseases to administrative or even criminal liability.
• Requires constant attention from the owner.
• You need a very large cage-aviary, ideally a whole room.
• Specific food, including insects.
• Constant disorder and destruction in the house. They grab everything and immediately manipulate it. If it can be smeared with it, they will smear it. Draw, paint. Drop, drop.
• You cannot shout at the monkey, let alone beat. So they become infected with aggression, and in this state, the monkey is very dangerous.
• Monkeys may show sudden outbursts of aggression and may bite. In the wild, sometimes defenseless children can arouse gastronomic interest in monkeys (such as chimpanzees).
If the monkey has become a member of your family, keep it on a leash when bringing it out into the light. Better to keep her away from strangers at all. The animal can get scared, scratch, or bite someone. The victim will have the right to demand the euthanasia of the monkey in order to be tested for rabies.
Rodents: Hamsters, Mice, Rats, Pigs, Chinchillas
All people are divided into two types: those who are afraid of mice, and those who like them. The first type buys hamsters and guinea pigs. The second is adorable decorative mice or even rats.
• All rodents are very cute and take up little space.
• Hamsters are very funny animals. It is interesting and informative for a child to play with him.
• Chinchillas – fluffy anti-stress. This tame animal can sit on the shoulder and even climb with kisses.
• Rats are funny and quick-witted, easy to train. They are quiet and clean.
• Mice are easy to care for, omnivorous, and easy to tame.
• Guinea pigs are very sociable, love to play.
• The rodent needs an equipped aviary, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
• They do not live long. Hamsters, mice, rats – only 2-3 years.
• If the animal escapes, it is quite difficult to find it in the house, it can even be accidentally crushed.
• Hamsters are active at night and sleep during the day.
• Once again, it is better not to pick up chinchillas, do not squeeze them out.
• Rats and guinea pigs need walks around the house. At the same time, they need to constantly gnaw everything so that the furniture could be significantly damaged.
• It is best not to have mice in a house with small children.
• Guinea pigs should be carefully examined every 3-4 days for wounds, bald patches, and other health indicators.
In general, a small rodent is the least of the troubles when choosing a pet. If a child desperately asks for a dog, it is worth starting with a hamster and see if he takes care of the animal, if he can be trusted with a little friend.
Exotic Animals: Snakes, Chameleons, and the Like, Spiders, Cockroaches, Snails
Recently, it has become fashionable to have all kinds of “reptiles” at home. Especially among teenagers, it is considered very cool to have a tarantula or iguana in their pets. Not only is the acquisition and maintenance of such creatures expensive, but also the owners, as a rule, know little about the rules for their maintenance. That is why these exotic guests so often die in the first months of their life in captivity.
• Restricted Habitat: Habitat is confined to terrarium glass.
• No smell.
• Easy to feed. The snakes are fed once a week. Cockroaches go without food for up to 40 days. Snails happily eat simple plant foods like cabbage leaves.
• There is no need to clean the cage often.
• It is really very unusual and original!
• Not all family members can share a child’s cravings for 20cm snails.
• Giant snails are hermaphrodites, so when starting two asexual individuals, you should think in advance about what to do with the offspring, which will appear regularly, regardless of your desire.
• Snakes, chameleons, etc. They eat live cockroaches, which are best bred by themselves, or crickets, which must be purchased.
• Snakes sleep almost all the time.
• Some species of snakes need to be fed on rodents.
• Cockroaches can get out and crawl around the house.
• It is easy to step on a snail forgotten at home.
• The spider, or rather its bristle, is covered with enzymes that can cause itching and burning in humans.
When buying an exotic pet for your child, be sure to consult how poisonous and dangerous it is. Remember that a teenager can brag about a snake to friends and forget about it. And all the care will fall on your shoulders.
In this case, it is better to start with cockroaches or snails.
The Child’s Desire is the Responsibility of an Adult!
Child psychologists unanimously claim that a pet will help children become more responsible and responsive. For the only children in the family, the animal can become a faithful friend and play partner.
Unfortunately, in practice, the picture is often quite different. The child receives a long-awaited living toy and after a while forgets about it. Parents scold the child. As a result, the child already hates the pet and tries to sneak out of the house, away from the hated duties.
It is important for all parents to remember: no matter how your child begs, you make the decision to buy a pet. And it is adults who are responsible for the health and life of this animal. Only an adult can instill in a child the love and desire to care for and communicate with a new friend.
With patience, care, and affectionate attention, any pet will become a real favorite and a loyal friend for the whole family.