Greensboro, NC -- You were either the kid that begged for a pet or you're the parent who has a kid begging for a pet!
Shannon Koontz from Piedmont Parent Magazine is helping us navigate the pulling on the heartstrings and the commitment.
"Knowing when child is ready takes watching them with other pets. Do they just go after other people's animals or are they respectful? Do they treat it only as a play thing or are they gentle?"
Shannon says answering those questions will not only lead you into if they are ready for a pet, but also maybe what kind.
How do you know which pet to choose?
"You want to read your child. Iif you have a timid toddler don't go for a rambunctious great dane. You might try a gateway pet like a Beta fish or one of those Madagascar Hissing roaches." Shannon says with both of these gateway pets, there is hands on without too much responsibility.
What is the resonable expectation for kids to help with pets?
"If the parent says 'I want no responsbility', it's the parent not the kid who isn't ready for a pet. You might not expect your young kid to clean out the litter box without making a mess. But you could give them the responsibility to feed the kitty once a day. Give them tasks that aren't overwhelming and then praise them."
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