Picks and Pans Review: Your Pet, Your Pal
Both familiar and semi-exotic critters are featured in this 45-minute guide to congenial house pets for children. Here is Ivan Golakoff, director of education for the Animal Care and Educational Center of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., with a cocker spaniel, a guinea pig, a ferret, a boa constrictor, a desert turtle, two twittery rabbits and a jittery cockatiel. Before getting a pet, he says, consider how much care it will require. Remember that while cats are happy indoors, most dogs like a yard to romp in. (A yard with a fence, Golakoff advises, or the dog might get hit by a car, and "that wouldn't be very good, would it?") He isn't too convincing on the merits of ferrets, which spray skunklike perfume when agitated. And he won't prompt a stampede for boas, despite the six-footer coiled around his arm. (Boas have elastic mouths that come in handy when they are hungry, say for your pet rabbit). Guilty at times of a goopy "okay, boys and girls" tone, Golakoff serves as an able instructor who points out that a pet is not just a pleasure, but a responsibility, as in, "Who's going to change the kitty litter?" (Increase, $29.95, 800-345-1441)
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