Do you have a pet? When I visit schools to read Jacob O’Reilly Wants a Pet, lots of children tell me about the animals they have at home. Some have dogs, some have cats, and some have hamsters or gerbils or guinea pigs. Lots of kids have fish. And once in a while a child will put up a hand and tell me all about a big snake or lizard they have as a pet! Eeeek!
Before you decide on the right pet for you, it’s important to think about how you live. A pet becomes part of the family so it will have to fit in with your lifestyle. Here’s a little quiz to help you make the right decision:
Jacob O’Reilly’s Pet Quiz
A In a giant castle with a forest all around.
B In a house with a small garden.
C In a cosy flat high above the ground.
A Run around outside, whatever the weather.
B Sit on the garden swing in the sunshine.
C Curl up on the sofa with a good book.
A Big and lively with lots of energy.
B Small and cute and full of fun.
C Cuddly and sweet, all snuggled in your lap.
A Rufus, Jasper or Duke.
B Corky, Snowball or Rosie.
C Tiddly-wink, Munchkin or Peanut.
So, what does all this mean?
If you answered A to most of the questions, you would make a great dog owner. The bigger your garden, the bigger your pet can be. If you live in a castle, you could even have a pet dragon!
If you chose mostly B answers, you are best suited to a small dog or cat. You can have lots of fun with them, but they don’t need too much space.
If you answered mostly C, you should have a small, quiet pet like an indoor cat or a hamster or guinea pig. Other cuddly possibilities might be a dwarf rabbit or a pair of gerbils. You can have these pets in a small flat and it’s okay if you have no garden.
If you do get a pet…
Looking after an animal is a big responsibility. Unlike toys, animals have feelings and can be hurt if they’re handled roughly. They must always be treated gently and kindly. They also need food, water and exercise every day, just like you! And if they make a mess, YOU have to clean it up! So before you get a pet, think about it carefully. Then you’ll make the right choice.