Congratulations on your new pet! We bet you're super excited that there's a new doggie or kitty in your home. Or maybe a guinea pig, hamster, fish, or bird! A bunny? Did you get a lizard? A frog? A toad? The possibilities are endless!
Taking care of a pet is a big responsibility.
If you begged your parents for a new pet, chances are you promised you would help take care of him or her. You want to make good on your promise and do the right thing, right?
We have some tips below to help kids and pets get off to a great start! Parents, you can find tips on pet care at the American Veterinary Medical Association.
A pet's needs are fairly simple. Your pet needs food, water and exercise. Much like children, pets need routine. You should feed your pet at the same times every day. You also should exercise your pet at the same time.
Walking your dog will help you and your new best friend bond. It will also give you an excuse to get some fresh air and activity! Be sure to bring some bags to pick up any poop your pup may have along the way.
You also will need to clean up after your pet. It's important to change your cat's litter boxes regularly. And if you have a dog, you need to scoop the poop in your yard! This is for the health of your pet as well as yours and your family's.
Make sure that your pet has adequate shelter and a safe, warm place to sleep. Don't leave your dog outside too long in the cold or in the heat. Keeping your dog and cat inside the house will keep them safe and give you more time to bond.
It's important to follow any rules that your parents have for your pet. For example, your pet might not be allowed on the furniture. Don't confuse your new friend by allowing him or her on the furniture when your parents aren't looking! Are you allowed to have your new pet in your room? Be sure to ask your parents!
Pay attention to how your pet acts. Your pet might get sick sometimes — just like you do. If you think something is wrong, be sure to tell your parents right away.