Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Most of you already know that we have two beautiful fish swimming in our bedroom at all times. Flub & Blub were surprise adoptions for us (as all of our little ones have been.)
Over the past few months, I’ve realized how easy it has been to take care of Flub & Blub and how much responsibility they have taught me.
Fish are often looked over by a number of families that are interested in getting their kids pets, but I feel like they come with a great deal of discipline.
*photo from Do All Kitties Look This Cute When They Hide?
It’s easy to tell when your kitty hasn’t been fed as they usually tell you whenever they are hungry, however, fish are a bit different… Since they can’t tell you when they are hungry you have to remember to feed them all by yourself. I’ll have to admit, I haven’t always been the best at remembering to feed the fish… but that’s the beauty of having Bettas. It’s best to starve them one day a week and they can survive off of food once a week (although I wouldn’t recommend that). Now, not every fish is the same and some will need to be fed more frequently than others.
If you’re on vacation for a while you don’t have to worry about leaving them behind. There are vacation feeders you can grab that can feed your little ones for up to two weeks. I had absolutely no idea about these until I started working at the pet store. They come in super handy especially if you don’t have a house sitter (or if you’re a forgetful pet parent), but… why not have your kid learn about routine? Have them feed the little swimmers each time, but always remember… ask them if they’ve done it later on in the day! You’re lucky when you have fish because they can be fed at any time during the day and you don’t have to worry about them starving if you don’t feed them exactly every 24-hours.
As mentioned in my article about Betta Care, I usually recommend cleaning your 2.5-3 Gallon tank at least once a week. (If you have a smaller one you may want to clean it more often.) This can be an easy chore to get your kids to do that will teach them about the importance of keeping things clean and tidy! I know growing up my mom used to do most of the chores when we were at school, so when the real responsibilities made an appearance in my life I was insanely ill-prepared and I wish I had some discipline (especially when it comes to cleaning). Try to pick a day of the week where your kid is home (such as Saturday) and get them to clean the fish tank. It shouldn’t take more than a half hour and is probably enough responsibility for them to start learning basic housekeeping skills. It will also get them ready for more pets that need more time invested such as hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs and some day cats/dogs!
Fish are honestly one of the most inexpensive pets we’ve owned. We’ve been using the same supplies for the past 7 months and there are no signs of them running out in the near future (even with two fish!) I think we spent around $80 total on our fish (including their tanks), although I got my stuff with a tiny discount. You wouldn’t be looking at more than $50 for one fish really and this should be easily attainable for a child with an allowance (after a few weeks/months of saving up!) It is never too early to teach your little ones fiscal responsibility.
Honestly, I didn’t think keeping fish would feel as rewarding as it really is and again, it has really trained me to remember and discipline myself without having external reminders. It’s done me a lot of good and I’m sure it would be great for a bunch of kids! Get your kiddies pets! 😉