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Critters USA: Child To Child

Youngsters advise others their age about what it takes to own a small-animal pet.

By Crystal Apilado

In the excitement of getting a new pet, some children may not realize that owning a small animal is different from caring for a larger pet. Small animals require special care and attention, and rely on their owners to know how to take care of them, watch out for their safety and provide them with a healthy home environment.

Zachary Keil, age 11 from Maryland, believes that one of the most important things children should do when they decide to bring home a small animal companion is to research how to take care of it and learn about it before bringing it home. Children should make sure they choose an animal that they can easily care for, Keil cautioned. “Pets are a big responsibility,” he said. “Kids should understand that the animal they choose is one that they are going to love enough to keep and care for forever.”

Children should know that it’s important to never be too rough when handling a small animal, Keil said. It’s important to never hit them. Children should instead learn how to correct bad behavior.

**For the full article, pick up the 2008 issue of Critters USA or click here to buy the issue.**


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