Tip of the Week

Kids instinctively love animals. Children begin learning about animal species, their habitats and behavior during elementary school, and this is when children also become more interested and involved in caring for family pets. They may even become pet owners for the first time at this age. Learning about animal care is fun for kids, while also teaching them life lessons about empathy, compassion and responsibility.

Here are five important facts that children need to know about pet care.

All pets need water

Water is essential for every pet, every day (some even live in water). Keep water dishes or bottles clean so their water is always good to drink.

Pets need particular food

PetSmart is a great place to find the right food for any pet. While some (like rabbits) eat fresh vegetables like you, most pets don’t thrive on people food. Feeding them scraps from your plate is not a good idea, as some food might be bad for them.

Each pet needs a different habitat

While cats or dogs share our homes, others require special houses. Fish need aquariums with water that’s filtered, at the correct temperature. Smaller pets need cages - they’re not litter-trained, and they’re small enough to get lost in your house. Reptiles need glass enclosures called “vivariums” and require heat to be comfortable. Birds need cages to prevent them from escaping. Whatever habitat your pet requires, it’s important to keep it clean and give them toys to entertain them.

Pets need socializing

Just like people, pets can get lonely. Dogs need lots of human time, and walks to go to the bathroom and exercise. While cats seem like loners, they’re actually quite social. Even a cat who doesn’t want to cuddle may sit nearby. Fish or gerbils are more contented with the presence of an animal of the same species. Adopting two pets together can prevent loneliness.

Just like you, pets need check-ups

Finally, most pets need regular check-ups. Vet visits can be costly, so before becoming a pet owner, make sure you’re prepared. Pet ownership is a serious responsibility - their health and care is now up to you.

Understanding these important facts about pet care for each type of animal can help every family find the right pet. According to the ASPCA, about 3.2 million cats and 3.3 million dogs are brought to shelters each year. Whenever you’re looking for a pet, remember that there are always many more available than human families to give them homes. Individual pet owners, families, communities and companies can all play a part in ensuring that animals are provided shelter while they wait for their forever homes, and in encouraging their adoption. Animal companions give so much to the families who love them, and communities can help more pets get adopted by providing know-how.

Learning which type of pet may be right for you and your family can start with a program such as Pets Like U at PetSmart stores around the country. The program teaches children about the needs, care and behavior of different types of pets, whether furry, fishy or scaly.

— Brandpoint

Family Movie Night

“Pick of the Litter”

Rated: NR

Length: 1hr21m

Synopsis: This family-friendly documentary follows a litter of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin their two-year quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind. Along the way, the dogs meet a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human.

Book Report

“Goat’s Coat”

Ages: 3 - 6 years

Pages: 32

Synopsis: This charmingly illustrated rhyming picture book about Alfonzo, a goat with a very special coat, celebrates the power of kindness and friendship.

— Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Did You Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many children get toys and toy jewelry as gifts during the holiday season but some of those gifts may contain lead hazards. Unfortunately, lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell and the only way to know whether it is in a toy is to have that object tested by a certified laboratory. Therefore to avoid potentially lead tainted toys, parents should know that toys imported into the United States and antique toys and collectibles often contain lead. To be sure your child’s toys are safe, check the Consumer Products Safety Commission list of recalled toys. Learn more at the CDC Lead website: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/

— More Content Now