The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Choosing the Best Pet for Your Family The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Choosing the Best Pet for Your Family

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Choosing the Best Pet for Your Family

Twice when I was a child, my parents surprised my brother and me with a pet. When I was 8, it was a puppy at Christmas. And when I was 13, a kitten, several months after a beloved cat had died.

We always had a dog or a cat, or both, in the house, and those pets were completely woven into the fabric of our family life. The dogs went on vacations with us; the cats were a fixture at the foot of my bed, or firmly planted between my face and whatever book I was reading. We were devastated when they died.

Of all of the pets that came and went, though, the two I remember most were the ones Mom and Dad sprung on us when we weren’t expecting it. Being a kid, I figured they had stopped somewhere on a whim and picked up the new animal on the way home.

Now I know better.

My husband and I surprised our own children with a kitten a few years ago, much to their delight. Just as my brother and I didn’t know how much planning went into my parents’ surprises, our kids didn’t know that we spent many evenings weighing the pros and cons of getting a cat. I had lived with cats my entire life, but I read “Cats for Dummies” and found out how much I didn’t know. (Cats have a pattern on their noses that is unique, just like a human fingerprint!)

We visited the shelter and played with several animals before choosing one. Then we waited a week for our application to be approved, and for her to get spayed. There was a lot that went into her popping her little head out of a picnic basket one Saturday morning and worming her way into all of our hearts.

The right pet in the right home can be one of the best experiences you can give your child. Pet ownership can teach a child about responsibility and unconditional love. But the wrong pet at the wrong time can lead to a heartbreaking disaster for everyone, including the animal.

To read more on this story, click here: Choosing the Best Pet for Your Family