It’s a common adage; every kid needs a pet. Our animal companions add so much value to our lives and the lives of our children. Aside from teaching valuable lessons about responsibility, pets teach us humility, acceptance and unconditional love. They teach us to enjoy each day, to revel in simple pleasures and to seek joy. They truly are indispensable members of our families, so when we choose to add a new family member, it’s important to not make choices hastily.
Choosing your child’s first pet will often result in adopting a smaller member of the animal kingdom; freshwater fish, mice, rats, gerbils, and hamsters all make great first pets, but shouldn’t be considered “starter” or “practice” pets. They should first and foremost be a loved and cherished member of your family.
When adopting a pet of smaller stature, there are a number of things to consider. First, consider the living space of the animal in question. Rabbits, for example, live in enclosures but flourish with lots of time to roam and explore. Gerbils, on the other hand, can thrive within the confines of their habitats when the habitats are given a great amount of consideration.
Let the age of your children play a role in deciding on your new adoptee as well. Small children who lack the dexterity to care for a pair of rats or a hamster may well enjoy a small fish tank just as much as they would a palm sized pet.
Whichever pet you choose to share your home with, make sure to take the time to learn their precise needs and be ready to fill them. Start with a visit to Gresham Animal Hospital to ensure the health of your child’s new pet is kept a priority. Learn more about the many veterinary services for pets available at our clinic at 520 NW Division Street in Gresham. Call 503.666.1600 to schedule a new patient appointment.
“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”