In our previous article, we discussed the general pointers for how to go about getting your child a first pet, regardless of what kind of animal it is. Here are some tips for more specific types of pets/
Dogs – Of all the pets, they require the most care initially. So, taking care of one is almost like taking care of an infant. Certain breeds have certain temperaments. It’s important to match your child’s personality with the right puppy.
Just like an infant, puppies poop a lot and even the best trained ones poop almost everywhere. If you don’t know how to train a dog, hire a dog trainer to housebreak your puppy (about P300 a session). Dogs also require daily walks for exercise and will also be a great way for you and your child to keep fit. Long hair breeds like Cocker Spaniels and Shi Tzus need regular grooming or they end up resembling ragged mops. It’s a good thing that short hair breeds (like our native askals) don’t need a trip to the pet salon.
Cats – This is one of the few animals you can actually pick up off the street and keep as a pet PROVIDED it’s either a kitten or extremely friendly AND you take it to the vet immediately. The vet can determine if it has any illnesses or parasites and whether it can come home or stay at the clinic for a few days.
Most kittens, once bathed and fed, will look presentable and in time, even a Pasay puskal will grow to look as pretty as a Persian.
Also one of the simplest to look after, a kitten doesn’t need toilet training (unless you’re Robert de Niro in Meet The Parents—yes, training a cat to flush is possible, but it’s hard work). Give her a clean litter box (plastic ones are ideal) filled with at least 4 inches of either shredded newspaper, sand and gravel or pet store kitty litter (the clumping kind solidifies cat pee and makes it easy to scoop out). Drop her in and watch her paw at it. From then on, she’ll use it as her personal outhouse.
Click here to read on getting other small mammals and fish as your child's first pet.