Fredericksburg Parent

November 2019

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28 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • November 2019 Before surprising your children with a new pet as a holiday gift this year, consider your family's lifestyle, finances and personality to decide what pet is right for you. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, raising children with pets can benefit a child's self-esteem and self-confidence and can encourage compassion and empathy. But, unlike a sweater that you return if it doesn't f it quite right, choosing a pet shouldn't be an impulse buy. According to Barbara Poe, a humane society manager, 75 percent of the animals returned to the shelter result from families adding a pet to their households without considering the challenges. "This percentage rises when talking about the return of puppies. Puppies require a lot of time, socialization and training," Poe says. WRITTEN BY CHRISTA MELNYK HINES Choosing the BEST PET for Your FAMILY WRITTEN BY CHRISTA MELNYK HINES

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