Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Breaking News

Archive

August 9, 2013

Questions parents should ask before getting kids a pet

Whether they want it to bark, purr, slither or squawk, there comes a time when a pet appears on nearly every child’s birthday wish list. For most parents, this decision can be a bit daunting. Is your child ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a pet? Will the new animal negatively affect his or her health? Though your child may think your wary attitude is unnecessary, these are valid questions for every parent to ask themselves and their family before welcoming a new pet into their home.

“The first thing that you need to think of is if your children are old enough and responsible enough to handle a pet around the house,” said Dr. Mark Stickney, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “You also need to be aware of the temperament of the new pet that you’re bringing in.”

Low maintenance animals, such as hamsters and fish, prove to be great starter pets for children. They require minimal amounts of time and care, introducing the child to the responsibilities of pet ownership without giving them more than they can manage.

Of course, puppies and kittens are always crowd pleasers as well. Their high energy level and love for attention makes them the perfect child companion. But what about when little Bobby begs for that snake at the pet store?

“With animals like lizards and snakes, their care and feeding requirements can be a bit tricky as far as humidity and temperature,” Stickney said. “These animals also eat other animals for food, which may be upsetting to some children.”

When choosing a family pet, it is also important to take into consideration your children’s sensitivity to various allergens.

“One of the first things that you need to do is consult with your physician,” said Stickney. “If your child is allergic to pollen or some sort of grass that an animal could track into the house, an indoor animal such as a cat would be a non-issue.”

Text Only
Features
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Boston Officials: No Bags at Marathon Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women New York Police End Muslim Surveillance Program Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions T. Rex Gets New Home at Smithsonian Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Which service of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce do you believe is most beneficial for its membership?

Events
Legislative lobbying
Promotional material publication
Educational programs for the community
Other
     View Results