Having a pet is like having a “plus one” in your household. Aside from the initial cost, you have to allocate a portion of your monthly budget for its basic needs like food, grooming, and medical shots. Suzette Kho, educator at Kindermusik, Inc. in San Juan, and mom to Russel and Skyeler, says the cost of the puppy was a decisive factor. “We have a white Pomeranian Spitz, whom we named Snowy. I bought it from a breeder at a very reasonable price. Purebred Poms are expensive. Pom Spitzes are less pricey,” she says.
2. Is there room for a family pet in the house?
A child cannot take care of a pet on his own, says Katherine May Tesalona-Esguerra, M.D., pediatrician at HP Plus Diagnostics in Makati City. This means your little pet lover will count on your help mostly. “If time is going to be a problem, then you may consider getting a cat,” Dr. Tesalona-Esguerra says. “Cats are more independent and less demanding.” If you donít have enough space for your pet to roam freely, then consider getting a fish or a hamster. Those require little space. They’re low maintenance, too.
3. Should we get a big or a small family pet?
“We wanted a very small dog that we can easily take along wherever we go,” Kho shares. Their size preference was influenced mainly by their family’s active schedule, she adds. Lorna Sicam, D.V.M., a veterinarian in Quezon City, does not recommend getting large dogs or animals as pets for small kids. However, she says small animals also have their fair share of liabilities. “Small animals can be stepped on or can get hurt easily,” she says.
“Small pets like hamsters can bite young tots, too. The key is for parents to remain in-charge and alert at all times,” Dr. Sicam stresses.
“Don’t get pets for their cute factor,” warns Dr. Sicam. “Some small dogs usually tend to be nervous, while some big dogs are meek and quiet. It really depends on the type of animal,” she says. Kho adds, “We found out that Poms and Pom Spitzes have a temperament suitable forchildren” and they are quiet barkers,too,” she says. It is always bestto do some research on the animal,before you rush into buying one.
SOURCES: Suzette Kho, educator, Kindermusik, Inc., Greenhills East, San JuanKatherine May Tesalona-Esguerra, M.D., pediatrician, HP Plus Diagnostics, Makati CityLorna Sicam, D.V.M., veterinarian, 67 K-1 Kamuning, Quezon City