So I’ve talked about the importance of allowing your child to prove themselves responsible with an animal before purchasing one, but you may be wondering how. Or you may want to learn if you are ready for an animal of your own! Well, here are a few tips, good starter pets, and animal hacks for you so you are prepared for owning an animal.
- Start small. If you want to own all kinds of exotic animals, the more popular cats or dogs, or even become an experienced aquarist, you have to start small. I would recommend a betta fish or crested gecko to start out with, (I will make a post on gecko care later) as they are extremely low maintenance and will not take up much space. If you are testing your child or teenager, then try asking them to care for a stuffed animal for a month. If they succeed, reward them by letting them choose an animal to buy (after they research how to care for its specific needs).
- Make lists. I am 100% a list person, so I would recommend purchasing a dry erase board or planner and charting out diet, water changes, and all of your animal related chores on it. This will seriously help, trust me.
- Pet sitters. In the early stages of planning for a pet, you (hopefully) took vacations and pet sitting into the picture. I suggest keeping a written or typed list of instructions in a safe place or as a document on your computer in case of an emergency. Also, make sure to teach a friend or neighbor how to care for your animals if you take a trip. I recommend this over kennels and pet care, because they may cause stress to your animal.
- Cleaners. If you have done your research, you will find that countless chemicals found in cleaners and such are harmful to your animals, and it is just too messy to clean with only water. You may prefer to make your own recipe, but below are a few recipes for various cleaners:
Bird Cage Cleaner-
(Recipe from thesprucepets.com)
- 3 cups hot water
- 3 tbsp. baking soda
- 2 tbsp. pure lemon juice
Mix the solution well and pour it into a clean spray bottle. I use this, and it works really well. Just be careful, as residue can build up on the bottle.
Reptile Tank Cleaner-
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
Pour the solution into the spray bottle and shake. I use this for my box turtle and hermit crabs, and it does leave a bit of a smell so be sure to rinse the tank out afterwards.
DIY fish tank gravel vacuum-
5. Marimo moss balls. I LOVE these things! To avoid changing your reptile’s water daily, just place one of these in the water! That’s it! They eat gunk and waste in the water, and all you have to do is squeeze them every once and a while to clean them! They are amazing, and they grow super slowly so you don’t have to worry about them crowding your water dish.
Well that’s all for today! Sorry for the short post!