Pets With Training Wheels, For First Time Pet Owners

Thinking about a pet for the New Year? Rookie pet owners -- whether it's a first-time pet for a child, or an
adult who hasn't had a pet in years -- sometimes make the wrong choice.
So, for a USA Weekend story, I consulted some pet experts. With the myriad of pet
possibilities, there was a surprising consensus about the best starter
pets with training wheels.

"You want to choose a pet that you can
interact with and that's easy to care for," dog and cat behavior
consultant Liz Palika says. "Of course," she says, "what's easy for one
person may not be for another." Veterinary behaviorist Valerie Tynes
adds, "Pets do teach children responsibility, but it's the adults who
are ultimately responsible to ensure that lesson is learned, and to
watch that a pet is being handled with care."

Click the gallery for the top nine vote getters.


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