There’s a lot to consider regarding bringing a new (or first) pet into your household. Should you get one? What kind should you get? And what else should you know? I want to tackle all of these “NEW PET” questions right here and now:

First, you have to realize that kids are always excited about a new pet and — of course — promise they’ll take care of it. But, the reality is that they quickly find it (the feeding, the cleaning, the scooping) to be a chore.

So, here’s my advice: Start small and let them prove it! (How’s that for a little parental love in action – LOL.) Consider starting with a pocket pet, like a mouse. Side note: Hamsters bite and aren’t as fun as they look! Another option, and always where the rubber meets the road: Parents, you’ll have to be committed to really doing the care if (and when) the kids bail.

Next, figure out what kind of pet you’re going to get. Cat? Rat? Dog? If it’s a dog, research breeds. Labs are pretty easy going, but some dachshunds are not what I’d call “kid dogs.” And, for those of you considering those really little dogs, consider the age of your kids. I’ve seen a dog’s head smooshed by kids who were just playing around with a toy breed.

If it’s a cat, still…. do your research! Look at kitty’s background – if the mom is anti-social, the kitten maybe too. Special note: Calicos, Torties and Siamese aren’t always the most kid friendly!

Finally, regardless of which pet you decide to bring into your home, 80% of it’s health and happiness depends on a healthy diet. 80 percent. That’s not a typo. So, feed them what’s healthy for us! (Find some GREAT recipes that help you save money on your veterinarian bills as well as your grocery bill at

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