What Parents Should Know About PetsPets are part of many children's lives. Learn how to help them foster strong, healthy relationships.
Every parent knows the feeling: It all goes by so quickly. You're newlyweds, then you're the parents of small children. Turn around again and you're empty-nesters. And then ... grandparents.
My wife and I are grandparents now, and everyone who knows us knows we're madly in love with our granddaughter. Give me five minutes and I'll show her picture, followed by those of our beloved pets. There is nothing more important to me than being a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather -- and, yes, a good veterinarian.
From the vantage point of seeing so many children grow up to have children of their own, I offer five things this veterinarian (father, grandfather and husband of more than 30 years) wants every parent to know about pets and children.
Your Pet Can Be Your Child's Best Friend
Pets are nonjudgmental, loyal, loving and always excited to be with their people. Unlike classmates, friends or even, at times, family members, a pet will love your child unconditionally. Rich or poor, tall or short, under- or overweight, porcelain skin or pimples, smart or struggling in class, popular or pariah, athlete or academic: We all need unconditional love. Pets are also doggedly loyal; a pet will never leave your child because he's tired or a better offer came along.
Pets Teach Responsibility
Animals need to be fed, watered, groomed, exercised and played with, and they need medical care and love. They're not like the newest video game or toy that can be enjoyed for a while and then left to be forgotten on a shelf. Although you should never allow a pet to be cared for exclusively or primarily by a child, pets can help children understand how to nurture. Pets need care, constantly and consistently, and they teach children to give to others.
pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers
The adorable pair of kittens who shut down a New York subway get to stay together after all
An Arizona dog gets a second chance thanks to the kindness of a passerby
Cutest animal alive?
Loki is fourth dog firefighter has saved by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
World Wildlife Foundation reports 441 new species discovered in Amazon rainforest
When a dog gets out of the water, one of the first things he does is shake. In just a second or two, water sprays everywhere, and then the moment ends. Now imagine if you could watch your dog shaking in slow motion. Think of your pup’s floppy ears, loose jowls and bulging eyes. What would it look like? Well, photographer Carli Davidson set out to capture just that in her new book, Shake. In 2010, Davidson started using a high-speed-shutter camera to photograph rescue dogs in mid-shake. When she posted the photos on Facebook, they quickly went viral. The project’s popularity led her to this book, in which two photos of 61 canine models, including French Bulldogs, Springer Spaniels and Boxers, are presented side by side in mid-shake. Check out our photo gallery featuring some of our favorite shakes from the book, and don’t be afraid to post photos on our Facebook wall of your dog shaking. We know it will be a challenge, but it will be worth it!
Just when we thought we'd heard of all 180 recognized breeds, the American Kennel Club brings a new crop of great dogs into the pack. An Italian working dog and a cuddly cotton-ball canine are among the five newest members of the AKC's Miscellaneous Class, which is the level a breed and its parent club reaches just before it becomes fully recognized. You may not have heard of these dogs yet, but their adoring admirers hope you'll soon fall in love with these rising canine stars.
A veterinarian explains how dog and cat whiskers really work, and why you should never cut or trim them