Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Choose Starter Pets for Kids - Video

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DADDY CLAY: Welcome back to the Lab, Im Daddy Clay.

DADDY BRAD: And Im Daddy Brad. It seems as soon as kids can walk, theyre toddling

off after anything on four legs.

DADDY CLAY: If you dont 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 youre allergic, like me, or youre opposed the kids getting bitten,

or youre not in favor of having MORE animals crapping on the carpet...

DADDY BRAD: Youre 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, youve got three kids and two careers, and

youre 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

about it.

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 dont mention. When butterflies come out of the cocoon, its 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. Theyre 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. Theyre

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 dont mind being handled by the

kids. Theyve got some personality. And tiny little poops. The new paper-based bedding

doesnt 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 dont want to keep these in a bedroom.

They run on that wheel so much youll think theyre 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 dont think that stuff

is funny. People love their pets. I know youre 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. Thats all for this

week in the Lab. Make sure to join us next week for our special Bike Week on DadLabs.

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