Library, Animal Control
Selecting Other Pets
Finding the right pet for your family is not an easy task. You must consider what goals you have for the experience and how much effort and expense you can afford. Children benefit from the companionship of an animal and from the responsibility of caring for another living being. However, children can’t be responsible for the pet’s care without the support of adults. They will not enjoy a pet that becomes a chore, and neither will you. Children should not have to bear the loss or illness of a pet because they are forgetful.
Families sometimes plan to use pets to teach children about reproduction. If you plan to breed your pet, look into the financial burden as well as the time commitment necessary to raise young animals that will make good pets. Consider a visit to the animal shelter to help children understand we need to find homes for the pets that are already here before we make more. Some shelters do not have facilities for new born puppies and kittens. You Could foster a pregnant cat or dog or check out a video from the library (Milo and Otis) or watch Animal Planet's "That's My Baby." However, the same expense and commitment is involved in sheltering a stray animal as one you purchase. When the babies are adoptable, the animal shelter will find good homes for the offspring and offering a home to the mother means you'll be saving a life.
Farm and exotic animals offer many pet options. If these animals are new imports, check with your local animal shelter to be sure they are permitted in your area. Pocket Pets include hamsters, lizards, fish and even tarantulas. Recently, sugar gliders, hedgehogs and llamas have become popular pets.
Exotic pets have exotic needs.
Fish need a precise pH and temperature in their water.
Snakes eat other animals, and frogs may eat each other.
Chinchillas need special sand to bathe in.
Chameleons will only drink running water.
Female ferrets become ill if they are not neutered (spayed).
Small birds eat ground shells or sand to help digest their seeds.
You may need to purchase special equipment for an exotic pet such as a heater or special food. You will need to read a good book on caring for your exotic pet to be sure you aren't missing something important. It would be a good idea to contact an exotic veterinary office for advice. Often, staff at local zoos will help refer you to special veterinarians when a pet is very rare and veterinary help is difficult to find.
There are only a few veterinarians trained to treat these pets, so find one before you need to. Medical care for exotic pets may cost more than it would to replace the pet. However, when you take on a new pet, you must consider the financial responsibility you already have to the pet.
Providing an appropriate environment for an exotic animal is not always easy. However, the enjoyment and education a pet can provide are well worth the effort. Pet ownership has all the rewards of a great friendship; unconditional love, entertainment and mutual interests. However, it also comes with responsibilities, and commitment to your friend’s needs.
Find out More
(Chinchillas, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Mice and Rats)
Turtle and Tortoises
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Frederick, MD 21701