We have received a lot of questions about a recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about children and “exotic” or nontraditional pets, in this case meaning any animal other than cats or dogs.
It’s important to note that the very first line of the abstract from that report states:
“Exposure to animals can provide many benefits during the growth and development of children.”
More than 63% of American households include pets and we Americans love our pets as members of the family. The primary point of the AAP report is that owning a pet is a major responsibility and education is key. We agree. The report recommends that families, especially those with very young children (under age five), should be careful when choosing a family pet.
You need to learn everything you can about the proper care and handling of animals in your home. It is vital to supervise young children at all times when they are around any animal, including cats and dogs. We also recommend that people wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water both before and especially after handling their pets or coming in contact with other animals.
Talk to your pediatrician and veterinarian before bringing a new pet into your home. Ask plenty of questions before you make your decision. At The Animal Store, we believe education is our primary service, and our knowledgeable staff is here to help. We always welcome your questions or comments.