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How to Choose the Right Pet for Your Family

You have decided to welcome a furry companion into your family. This is an exciting time and the start of a wonderful relationship that is certain to bring every family member plenty of joy. However, it is also a stressful time with many difficult decisions to make. One of the most challenging of those decisions will be choosing the right pet for your family. Do you get an energetic, loyal dog? A sassy, cuddly cat? Or do you settle for something a little simpler, like a turtle, a hamster, or a fish? 
Here are some tips to help you make a final choice. 

The age of your kids 
This is the most important factor to consider, and for various reasons. For starters, if your kids are toddlers and have yet to develop an understanding of how to be gentle and compassionate towards animals, you probably want to steer clear of any smaller creatures. Young toddlers may squeeze rabbits and hamsters unintentionally, or spend the day trying to scoop the fish out of the tank. However, you may also want to avoid getting a frisky puppy who might give your little one a run for his money and knock him around all day long. 
A good choice for toddlers is a slightly older dog or cat that has been raised with children in the house. It is recommended that you consider getting a puppy or a kitten when your kids are at least five or six years old. 
On the other hand, you will have a lot more freedom of choice if your children are a bit older. However, it is wise to consult with your veterinarian in Glen Mills, PA, if you are uncertain and need advice. 
The size of your home 
This is an obvious one, but it cannot be emphasized enough. Don’t consider getting a large breed dog if your home is small and your yard is tiny. However, don’t feel obliged to get a bigger pet if you do have the space. Only take on the size of an animal that you think your family is ready to handle. After all, large dogs that have access to a big yard will still need to be taken out for walks on a regular basis.  
Your schedule 
Taking care of some animals can feel similar to working a full-time job. Therefore, you need to be sure that you have the time and energy to dedicate to looking after a specific animal. 
Don’t take for granted that your kids will do most of the ‘dirty work,’ like feeding, grooming, and exercising the animal. In many cases, children lose interest quickly and the responsibility then falls onto the parents. Be sure that you will be able to handle this in the unfortunate event that it does happen. 

If you do not have the time or energy for a high maintenance animal, opt for something simpler. For example, keeping a few goldfish in a tank requires minimal effort in the form of daily feedings, using a gravel vacuum to remove debris, and changing a small amount of the water each week.  

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