Yes, the kids are usually the ones begging for an animal. But once you’ve committed, the responsibility comes down on the parents, and no amount of nagging or guilt-tripping can fully change that. Prepare to be the sole feeder, bather, bed or cage cleaner, exerciser, and vet-goer. So the real question here is, are you 200 percent onboard?
THE ANIMAL EXPERTS
- Mikkel Becker, Seattle-based certified animal trainer for vetstreet.com.
- Mary Gardner, D.V.M., Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, Los Angeles.
- Ann Hohenhaus, D.V.M., Animal Medical Center, New York City.
- Jim Lowe, D.V.M., technical-services veterinarian, Tomlyn Veterinary Science, in Fort Worth.
- Amy Luwis,cofounder of Adopt-a-Pet.com and author of For Dog’s Sake!, Los Angeles.
- Alicia McLaughlin, D.V.M.,the Center for Bird & Exotic Animal Medicine, Bothell, Washington.
- Gayle O’Konski, D.V.M., Morris Animal Hospital, Granger, Indiana.
- Doug Palma, D.V.M., Animal Medical Center, New York City.
- Lisa Radosta, D.V.M., Florida Veterinary Behavior Service, West Palm Beach, Florida.
- Andy Roark, D.V.M., Cleveland Park Animal Hospital, Greenville, South Carolina.
- Michael Shikashio, based in Mystic, Connecticut; board president, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.