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How to choose the perfect childhood pet

Could the humble goldfish really rival a four-legged friend for companionship?

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For children, a pet can be the greatest friend. Most parents have been subject to the wholehearted pleading when their child sets their heart on having a particular dog, cat, hamster or even a snake. And perhaps now is the best time to give in to their powers of persuasion.

So what are the benefits of pet ownership? According to the Pets Health Council, over 90 per cent of children regard their pets as unconditional friends and would rather confide in them than their parents. “Animals offer children valuable life experiences,” says Maureen Hennis from Pets As Therapy. “Even small pets need to be fed and cleaned, which teaches children about caring for others and empathy.” Small pets, such as a goldfish, suit the under-fives, as they are easier to look after. “Always consider your child’s expectations before bringing an animal home,” says Melanie Allen, from Pets4Kids. “Some want to handle their pet, whilst others are happy just to observe them quietly.”

So which pets are best? “Guinea pigs make great pets,” says Allen. “They are inexpensive to keep and are very amusing to watch. Even a toddler can learn to handle one and they rarely bite.” Hamsters are another good choice and, according to Allen, rats make exceptional house guests, as they are clean, good-natured and intelligent. Pets of the canine and feline variety involve a huge amount of commitment and expense, but can become invaluable childhood companions and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle.


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This article previously appeared in Junior magazine as a print article

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Posted: 08/06/2017 at 18:29

None expected me to return home holding a tiny living fur-ball in my palms and announcing that whether they liked it or not I would definitely keep my new friend indoors. As simple as that my female cat entered my life. She was actually saved by my father D.J. Augustin Jersey , who being an animal-lover all his life he decided to run to its rescue when he spotted the stray kitten walking the dangerous city streets. Two days later, I was introduced with my soon to become indoor cat and I was glad that me and my father were in fact on some kind of "secret agreement" to convince my mother that the kitty had to be adopted by us.

Posted: 07/07/2017 at 07:27

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