Fish – the undemanding pet that educates

 If your child wants a pet, a fish may be the perfect answer!  Fish are educational, self-contained, low maintenance pets – and they’re quiet…making them perfect for townhouse or condominium living.

An aquarium offers an element of tranquillity to any home setting, and even to business settings.  Fish are the perfect answer for those children with allergies as well…no fur, fluff or hair to contend with.  The lifespan of a fish is mainly determined by the type of fish chosen, but can typically be expected to live a couple of years.  Goldfish however, tend to have longer life spans than other fish.

Just about any pet can help teach a child responsibility.  This comes from the child taking on the role of care-giver for the pet.  Children typically find great joy in taking on this role with their pet, at least initially.  Feeding and cleaning up after a pet can also help to educate a child about general care and well being for any living creature.

Fish, while not as demanding as other pets, are also educational from a scientific point of view. From Nitrogen cycles to PH levels to green algae, there is plenty to learn from while looking in the fish bowl.   

There are many kinds of fish for your child to choose from.  Small fish…big fish…colorful fish….saltwater or freshwater fish, be sure to ask your pet store which fish is right for your environment and the child caring for it.

You will want to weigh the pros and cons of choosing a fish for your child’s pet:  

The Pros
* Fish are quiet
* low maintenance
* relaxing
* low demands
* low maintenance costs

The Cons
* Inactive compared to a cat or dog
* Indoor pet only
* Easy to over-feed
      
      
What age is appropriate for having fish:
Newborns- Age 5
This is a great age for visual stimulation.  Make sure the aquarium is in visual site, but out of their hands reach.  

Age 5 – Age 10
During these years, children are typically learning about science and nature in their classes.  This is a great time to let them take on the responsibility of having their own pet to care for.

Age 10 and up

At this age, children can take on more responsibility and experiment with different types of fish and learn how they breed, grow and about their life cycles.  This age can be the start of a great life-long hobby or the beginning of a career path or choice for your child.

Regardless of what pet you choose for your child, be sure to discuss all the options available with a pet store specialist.  Let the specialist know of any individual circumstances, such as allergies or sensitivities that your child may have, so they can help you select the right pet for your child.

For more information, visit Animal House in Savannah or George Town or visit their website at www.animalhouse.ky

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