Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

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
Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014