Like many parents, you might be resisting the temptation to buy your kids a puppy even though they constantly beg for one. Kids always promise, “we'll take care of it!” With younger kids, we know that they might care for a dog during the first few weeks, but then they won't help with the feeding, cleaning, and other chores. If your kids are dying to have a dog, you can teach them the responsibility that comes with having a pet by buying a smaller, more low maintenance pet first. Read on to learn about a few pets that are good precursors to buying a dog if you want to teach your kids responsibility first.

Preparing Your Kids for a Dog


If your kids are really little, you may want to start small. A goldfish is probably the most low-maintenance pet you can have—all you have to do is feed it and change the water. These jobs are so easy, you can have even your toddler help you do them. You can give them the responsibility of feeding the fish when they wake up in the morning and before they go to sleep at night. Then, when it comes time to clean the bowl, involve your child in the process and teach them the importance of taking care of the pet to keep it clean, healthy and happy.


If your kids are between the ages of 5 and 10, a turtle is another good pet that is easy to care for, but still requires attention. Water and land turtles are becoming so popular as pets that many chain pet stores (and some local specialty pet stores) are beginning to sell them. Many species of turtles are very sociable but also quite independent, which makes them perfect for families with busy schedules and erratic free time to play with pets.


Iguanas are just one of a number of reptiles that are becoming popular pets (the list also includes snakes, bearded dragons, and turtles). Iguanas are best for older kids who can learn how to respect their space. Iguanas can be an easy pet for kids because they stay in a cage and need to be fed. Iguanas need to be kept in a humid environment, but you can usually buy a heated lamp to place in the cage so they stay at the correct temperature. This is a fun pet for little boys who are fascinated with snakes, dragons, and anything that creeps or crawls.


For kids who want a pet they can interact with a little bit more than just a fish in a bowl, ferrets can make great pets. They are soft and cuddly, extremely sociable, and very active when awake (but they sleep a lot too!) Ferrets work well for families with limited space, and give kids a little more responsibility since they will need to take the ferret out to play every now and again. Granted, this is a better pet for older kids, but it is much less responsibility than having a dog.

Children usually don't realize what a big responsibility having a pet is. Whether you are the one who wants a dog, or your kids won't stop asking for one, you can help teach the whole family responsibility by taking care of a pet on a smaller scale first. Consider your smaller pet a trial run for having a dog. Once your kids have proven that they can take care of a pet on a smaller scale, they will be more prepared for having a dog around the house. Information for this article was provided by the animal professionals of Evergreen Veterinary Clinic in San Jose, CA.


Dixie SomersThis article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a spunky Jack Russel Terrier who makes life interesting! You can follow her on Twitter: @DixieSomers

By Natalie Gomez on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:01 am 0 Comments

Dogs serve a variety of purposes. Since ancient times, dogs have been hunters, herders, and guardians of property and people. Those looking for great guardian dogs have a number of breeds to choose from. There are five breeds that are truly outstanding for any guarding purpose.



Rottweilers have developed a reputation as unpredictable dogs. However, a well-bred Rottweiler is a tremendous friend, companion, and guard dog. Rottweilers make great property protectors. They have a tremendous sense of what space belongs to them, and they will not let anyone they are unfamiliar with, come into their space. The Rottweiler's size will make any burglar think twice about entering an area protected by one.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is probably the best all-around guard and protection dog in the world. They are completely devoted and loyal to their owners and their family. German Shepherds are easily trained for almost any purpose. These dogs are especially suited to guarding people, and they are regularly trained as personal protection dogs.



The Bullmastiff originated as a cross between a Bulldog and an English Mastiff. They were originally used as a gamekeeper's watchdog. The Bullmastiff would patrol a property at night in search of poachers. When a poacher was spotted, the Bullmastiff would knock the poacher to the ground and keep him down until the gamekeeper could arrive. Bullmastiffs are too powerful for the average person to fight off. They require a great deal of training so as not to become too aggressive with members of the family. The Bullmastiff would make a great guard dog on a gated estate.

Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd has been used for centuries to protect livestock in its native land of Turkey. These often 160 pound dogs will give their lives for the flock they are guarding. In recent years, farmers in Namibia have used Anatolian shepherds to protect herds from cheetah predation. The Anatolian shepherd is a superb livestock guardian, and can serve well in a family guardianship role.



Pitbulls are unfortunately much used in illegal dog fighting. If trained and bred properly, the pitbull can be used as a guard dog for the family. Because of their fearsome reputation, pitbulls are a deterrent to thieves and criminals. Pitbulls come in variety of colors, and there may be blue pitbull puppies for sale locally.

A guard dog has a special responsibility. These five breeds are more than capable of fulfilling the task and becoming a longtime member of the family.


Brooke ChaplanBrooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She has lived and worked in her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico after her graduation from the University of New Mexico. While researching guard dogs she was able to find blue pitbull puppies for sale online, and German Shepherds available locally. Contact her via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.


By Natalie Gomez on Feb 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments

Pets aren't just animals. They are a part of the family. You want your family members to thrive, so you have to make sure you do everything you can to give your pets long, happy lives. There are some simple tips you can follow to ensure that your pets live their lives to the fullest.

4 Ways To Give Your Pet A Long and Happy Life

Use Premium Food

Analyze the ingredients before buying pet food. Ingredients are listed by their precooking weights, starting with the heaviest and going down to the lightest. Choose foods that have an animal based protein near the top of the list. Do not choose foods that list meat by-products as one of the first ingredients.

Stimulate the Animal

Animals need stimulation to be happy and healthy. That means you need to set aside some time each day to play with your pets. Taking walks are playing with toys are both excellent ways to stimulate your pets. Also, be sure to spend some time petting your animals. That will make them feel happy and secure.

Get Your Animal Spayed or Neutered

Unneutered animals are more likely to roam, which means they are more likely to get hit by cars. They are also more likely to have health issues, such as cancer. These health issues lead to shortened life spans. In fact, a report published in USA Today (May 7, 2013) stated that neutered dogs typically live 18% longer than their unneutered counterparts. Spayed dogs live an average of 23% longer when compared to dogs that have not been spayed. You can get your animal spayed at one of the Toronto or local veterinary clinics or animal hospitals.

Get Regular Checkups

According to the Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic, regular checkups are essential if you are going to have healthy and happy pets. Your vet will give your pets their annual shots, monitor their weight, and check their teeth. Your veterinarian will also look for signs of diseases or other issues. This will allow you to catch any problems early. That will make it easier for you to keep your pets healthy for the long run.

Your pets depend on you. They need you to keep them healthy and happy. They don’t ask for much, but they do need good vet care, healthy food and some stimulation. They also need to be spayed or neutered. If you can give your pets those things, you will likely have animal companions for a very long time. 


Savannah Coulsen Photo

Savannah Coulsen is a freelance writer. She lives in Raleigh. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.  


By Natalie Gomez on Feb 11, 2014 at 2:00 am 0 Comments