Kids - Pets - Book Suggestions

adellabedella_usaDecember 14, 2009

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good 'how to' type book on pet care (dog/cat)? My kids (6, 8, and 9) have wanted a pet for the last three years. They are pretty good with animals. Dh and I think they are ready to get a puppy and a kitten after we move next month, but we'd like Santa to get them a good book to read before then. I'm looking for suggestions.


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Might try the library first.

Reason being is that there are several different philosophies for dog/cat care/raising/training. The biggest difference I can see is how well a particular philosophy fits into a families beliefs and life style.

The things people need to know/do for small dogs is often different than for large dogs. As is the differences between breeds. Different breeds/types of dogs need different techniques for training/exercise/care. Bulldogs are much different than St. Bernards or chihuahuas.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 12:19AM
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I know this isnt what you asked but I'll get to that :)

IMO, you need to look at it realistically going in. It's a mistake to get any pet *for your kids* but getting a *family pet* is a better way to look at it. Im only saying this because I dont know what experience you have of pet ownership and it's a mistake a lot of people make that often ends badly.

Kids can't be expected to take on the responsibility of pet ownership. You will be the one feeding the pets, walking the pets, cleaning up after the pets and training the pets and it can be a bit like having extra children in the house so you have to be prepared for the time and commitment it is going to take from you. To kids pet ownership isnt about any of those things, it's about playing with them and that's about it. I'm not saying they might not help out, but dont expect them to raise and look after these pets, that will be your job. Also look ahead 10 or 15 years when these pets will still be alive, what will the kids be doing? most likely they'll be busy with other things or may not be living at home.

I would recommend you read up on different breeds and make your choice carefully. These are the types of books that might be useful for you and your kids to read before you decide what type of dog or cat will suit you best. As handymac said, different breeds have different personality traits, energy levels, exercise needs, companionship needs etc, so finding out what breeds suit your family and lifestyle is really important. Dont let your kids make that decision because they will go for the "cutest" pet. what you could do though is narrow down the choices to a few breeds that would suit you and let the kids be involved in the final choice that way so perhaps a book on "choosing the right dog" would be my suggestion and it will show the kids that it's an important decision.

I am so glad to hear you arent buying them a pet for christmas, that is such a huge mistake many people make and imo it tells the kids "this is a toy" and by february often the kids have lost interest and then the pets are being passed off elsewhere because the parents only got them *for the kids*

Good luck with it, and i hope you go in to it with your eyes wide open and realistic expectations and then it will all work out for you but I it's important to know these things ahead of time and not after you already have the pets.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 1:03PM
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trancegemini, I understand where you are coming from. I've made the kids wait a couple of years for a pet because I didn't want to be the sole caretaker. We're thinking of getting some type of terrier/mix when the time comes. We want a dog that can live indoors and travel with the family when we go on vacation. We'd like to get a kitten at the same time as the puppy so they can grow up together and hopefully, be friends.

My oldest child has had a beta for 2 1/2 years now. He's the person who has taken almost exclusive care of it. He read everything he could find on caring for it. We lost our elderly cat almost three years ago. The kids were pretty gentle with her. It'll take some training for the kids too, but I think the oldest can handle it and the other two will learn.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 7:20PM
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