DADDY CLAY: Welcome back to the Lab, I’m Daddy Clay.
DADDY BRAD: And I’m Daddy Brad. It seems as soon as kids can walk, they’re toddling
off after anything on four legs.
DADDY CLAY: If you don’t already own a pet, the whining starts at about age four. Please,
daddy, can we have a mastiff?
DADDY BRAD: For families with young children, the idea of adding a cat or a dog to the mix
can be overwhelming.
DADDY CLAY: Maybe you’re allergic, like me, or you’re opposed the kids getting bitten,
or you’re not in favor of having MORE animals crapping on the carpet...
DADDY BRAD: You’re not a big animal guy, are you.
DADDY CLAY: Three words. Tastes like chicken.
DADDY BRAD: We suggest you consider going small. So we offer this, the DadLabs Guide
to Starter Pets.
DADDY BRAD: Now there are lots of good reasons to buy your kid a pet. Recent studies have
revealed all kinds of health and emotional benefits enjoyed by kids with pets. Kids with
pets have fewer sick days, a lower incidence of asthma, and higher self-esteem.
DADDY CLAY: Pets also offer an opportunity to teach kids some life lessons without seeming to teach them
life lessons. Responsibility. Nurture. Good stuff like that.
DADDY CLAY: But if your family is like ours, you’ve got three kids and two careers, and
you’re going to find space to take care of a dog or cat or pony? And when you do manage
to find time for a vacation, then you have to stress about boarding, or paying somebody...forget
DADDY BRAD: So start out with low impact pets. Her are a few that we like.
DADDY CLAY: Bugs! What could be lower impact than an insect pet? My kids, especially my
youngest, crazy about these kits from Insect Lore. They come with a cool enclosure. You
send off a card and in a few days, the caterpillars arrive sealed in a jar with all the food they
need. In a few days they begin to create cocoons. The cocoons are transferred to the enclosure,
and in a few days butterflies emerge. You can then release them in your backyard.
My three-year-old would excitedly report to me every day about his pets. Now one thing
they don’t mention. When butterflies come out of the cocoon, it’s gorey -- like alien
-- all bloody. Gross. Which is a huge selling point.
DADDY BRAD: Go fish. They are easy to care for. Low vet bills. And they hardly ever crap
on the carpet. We suggest you get a Betta, or Siamese Fighting Fish. These are domestically
grown, not plucked off a reef somewhere. They’re beautiful and because they have a special
organ that allows them to draw air from the surface of the water, they can be kept in
small tanks with simple filtration. One to three gallons is best. They eat flakes. They’re
hardy. One thing - only one per tank. The males fight to the death. Other than that,
perfect starter pets.
DADDY CLAY: One big shortcoming of bugs and fish, pretty low on the snuggle factor.
And there is some value in teaching a child how to handle an animal with care. So what about
Since Ratatouille came out, rat sales have spiked, guinea pigs remain popular, Gerbils
seem to have left the Richard Gere stigma behind them, so to speak, but in my house
the rodent of choice is a hamster, and not just any hamsters,
but the tiny dwarf hamsters.
These guys are cute, pretty easy to domesticate so they don’t mind being handled by the
kids. They’ve got some personality. And tiny little poops. The new paper-based bedding
doesn’t smell like the old cedar chips we grew up with. One note. These guys are nocturnal,
so even thought the kid may complain at first, you don’t want to keep these in a bedroom.
They run on that wheel so much you’ll think they’re on meth.
DADDY BRAD: So there are out ideas for great starter pets.
DADDY CLAY: The nice thing...
DADDY BRAD: Daddy Clay, now I know that you are going to be tempted to make some tasteless
joke about pets, but I just want to warn you that lots of people don’t think that stuff
is funny. People love their pets. I know you’re not an animal guy, but you still need to be
aware and respect that about out audience.
DADDY CLAY: The nice thing about these pets is that they also make excellent hors d'oeuvres.
So if you have a favorite recipe, make sure to put it in a comment. That’s all for this
week in the Lab. Make sure to join us next week for our special Bike Week on DadLabs.