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Pick The Right Pet For Your Child: These Books Can Help

The library offers lots of books that tell you what your new friend will need.

Some of my happiest memories are associated with the pets that have been part of my life, but this was not always the case. When I was a little girl I was scared of all animals, especially cats and dogs.  My parents intervened and brought a kitten into our home.  I was terrified at first but then I became curious about this small furry creature and we were soon best friends. 

Perhaps your child is scared of animals.  What better way to help him deal with his fear than to bring a pet into his life?  You don’t have to choose a cat or a dog if you don’t have the space for such a large animal.  Here are some books about smaller pets to help you make a good choice.

At this time of year many families are interested in pet rabbits.  An excellent book that describes the characteristics and behavior of bunnies is Rabbits by Ruth Bjorkland.  Did you know that there are many different sizes and kinds of rabbits? 

Some are very small and some are large and so their housing requirements are different. Will they live outdoors or will they live indoors? What food will they need?  How much attention will they require from their humans? And did you know that, with patience, they can be trained to use a kitty litter box? 

Another popular choice that children love is hamsters.  Once tamed, these cute and cuddly animals will entertain your children for hours.  Leon Gray has written an excellent informational book, cleverly titled Hamsters. Filled with beautiful pictures and fascinating facts, this book shows you hot to set up a comfortable home for your pet. 

One important thing to know: hamsters are solitary creatures and need to live alone.  Put two hamsters together in one cage and they will fight. Also, a new hamster is a nervous hamster.  It needs to be allowed to acclimate to his new home and to you.  Let him sniff you and climb on you before picking him up.

Perhaps your child loves birds.  He is fascinated watching them fly.  She yearns to soar in the skies with them.  There are many birds that make good pets but not all breeds of birds are the same.  Some can be tamed and some cannot. Some are prone to nipping and biting problems unless they are hand raised as chicks.

A good informational book that will help you make the right choice is Top 10 Birds for Kids by Wendy Mead.   It is filled with facts on how to set up your new bird’s home and what it will need in terms of food, attention and exercise.  

Finally, you may already have a cat and are curious about why it behaves the way it way it behaves. A fascinating book dealing with this topic is Cats: In From the Wild by Caroline Arnold.  Ms. Arnold describes the history of felines, both wild and domestic, and focuses on the behaviors of both that are surprisingly similar. 

I encourage you to do research on your prospective pet before getting it.  Involve your child too! This will get your new adventure off to a great start.  By the way, there are many more books on other pet choices at your library.  Come on in and check them out!

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