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Is your family looking to add an adorable, cuddly, small animal to your family? Small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, gerbils, hedgehogs, and ferrets often make amazing family pets!  Weighing the pros and cons of adopting one of these small creatures is an important first step. Here is a list to help you with your decision.

Pros of Small Pet Ownership 


Cons of Small Pet Ownership

Adding a pet, even a small one, to your family is a big decision! Before deciding to add a small pet to your family, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that you understand its housing, social and environmental needs, and any other factors that might be challenging for your household. Considering all of these factors is the best way to ensure that you find the right pet for your family.

Birds are popular pets around the world. A bird is an intelligent, beautiful, affectionate animal. Birds can make wonderful companions, but they aren’t for everyone. If you are considering adding a bird to your family, here is a list of pros and cons of bird ownership.

Pros of Bird Ownership

Cons of Bird Ownership

The song of a bird is an appealing addition to many homes, but before getting a bird, it is important that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of bird ownership. If, after careful consideration, you think that a bird is right for you, talk with a qualified veterinarian about finding a bird species that best fits your family.

Fish are amazing pets! By sheer volume, they are the number one pet in North America. If you are considering adding this pet to your family, here is some information that you may want to consider.

What Type of Fish?

Whether it’s a goldfish in a bowl or a stunning coral beauty angelfish in a saltwater mini reef, your options in fish ownership are tremendous. If you are looking for a low maintenance and less expensive option, freshwater and pond fish are great options. If you are interested in a large variety of brightly colored fish, you may be interested in a saltwater aquarium. If you want to expand and vary your aquarium, you can create a mini reef, complete with corals and invertebrates. Check with your local pet supply or aquarium shop to find out about the options and requirements for these different types of pets.

Pros of Fish Ownership


Cons of Fish Ownership

If you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, fish might be a great place to start. The relative ease of owning and caring for fish make them a popular family pet.

The death of a pet is a difficult and often heartbreaking event. Pets truly can become members of our family. The loss of one of these members is often a child’s first experience with death. Preparing your child for this loss, answering questions, and helping them cope are important steps in preparing for the passing of a beloved family member.

Preparing for a Loss

Depending upon the events that surround the death of your pet, you may have time to prepare your child or you may be breaking the news after the fact. If your pet is older or had health issues, spend time talking with your child about his/her feelings. It is helpful, if possible, to have the child say goodbye before the pet dies. When breaking the news after your pet has passed away, be honest. The Humane Society cautions parents from trying to protect children by saying the pet ran away or went to live somewhere else, as it could cause your child to expect the pet’s return and feel betrayed after discovering the truth.

Answering Questions

Your child is sure to have questions about the death of a pet. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reminds families the importance of answering children’s questions about the loss of a pet simply but honestly, using terms and concepts the child understands. Some questions are easier than others. It’s okay to say “I don’t know” or “I wish that I knew that answer.” Let your child know it is normal to miss a pet after it dies and encourage them to come to you with questions or for reassurance and comfort.

Helping to Cope

After a pet has passed away, it is important for adults to allow themselves to show their own grief. Showing your own vulnerability may reassure your child that sadness is okay and may help them work through their own grief. Providing your child opportunities to remember their pet is an important part in helping them to heal. It helps for them to talk about the pet with friends and family. Conversations about the pet, both its life and its passing, should be seen as normal and encouraged. After a pet has died, children may want to have a ceremony and bury the pet, or even make a memorial. Other children may write poems and stories, or make drawings of the pet.

The loss of a pet is difficult for everyone, but it can be especially difficult to help children navigate.  Taking the time to prepare your child for the death of a pet, answering their questions while being open and honest, and finding ways to help them to cope are essential means to easing a child’s loss.

Dogs can make amazing pets. There are many reasons that the term “man’s best friend” rings true across the globe. Yet, dog ownership isn’t for everyone. If you are thinking of adding a dog to your family, there are several factors to consider. Here is a list of pros and cons of dog ownership.

Pros of Dog Ownership

Cons of Dog Ownership

Consider the Breed

Not all dogs are created equal. Each breed has different advantages and disadvantages. Dogs such as retrievers and beagles tend to be gentle with kids. Other breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, and miniature French poodles, may be more unpredictable. Shih Tzu, Saint Bernards, and bulldogs are generally less active, whereas terriers, retrievers, boxers, and sheep dogs tend to be the opposite. Keep the breed’s characteristics in mind when selecting a dog.

The decision to add a dog to your family is monumental. Carefully weighing the pros and cons of adding a dog to your family will ensure that you are happy with your decision for years to come.

There are more than 74 million cats living as pets across North America. If you are considering adding this playful pet to your family, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of cat ownership.  Here is a list to help you with your decision.

Pros of Cat Ownership

Cons of Cat Ownership

Cats can make exceptional family pets. Considering the pros and cons in advance of adding a fluffy four-legged feline to your household ensures that you are making the right decision for your family.