Pets Theme Unit
Picking the Right Pet

Picking the Right Pet
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.42

     challenging words:    booby-trapped, budgies, drawback, elusive, hundreds-or, inexpensive, lots-of, outsmart, puddy, slobbery, talkers, tawt, unsupervised, wabbits, wacky, exotic
     content words:    Looney Tunes, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, African Grey Parrots, Grey Parrots, Wile E., Road Runner, Acme Corporation, Even Looney Tunes

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Picking the Right Pet
By Colleen Messina

1     So your family has agreed to get a pet. Now what? Finding the right one is a big decision. If you watched Looney Tunes when you were little, you know their cast of wacky animal characters. Maybe one of them will give you a clue about what pet is right for you...in other words, one that won't make you looney.
2     Mickey Mouse was a well-mannered, cheerful rodent. If you liked Mickey, maybe a rodent would suit you. Rodents include mice, hamsters, rats, gerbils, or guinea pigs. These small pets are popular for many reasons. They don't need to be housebroken, walked, or trained. They are portable, quiet, and inexpensive. They can be left alone and don't take up much room. However, if you are afraid of mice, a rodent would not work for you...no matter how much you liked Mickey.
3     One drawback about most rodents is that they do not live a long time. A guinea pig lasts the longest and can live up to 8 years. The oldest mouse on record was Fritzy, a British mouse who lived for 7 years and 7 months, but most rodents only live for a couple of years. It is good to get these animals when they are about 6 to 8 weeks old so you can tame them. And rodents can escape easily from their cages...and never return.
4     If rodents aren't your choice, there are many other pets to pick. If you liked Bugs Bunny, who happens to be the most popular cartoon character of all time, rabbits might be for you. A rabbit won't be as sassy as Bugs, or wear gloves to eat carrots, but they are gentle friends. Rabbits can be kept in a cage, and they can even be trained to use a litter box. They like to play, but if you let a bunny hop around unsupervised, he can dig holes in carpets or chew things. And if you don't want hundreds-or at least lots-of baby bunnies, be sure that the females and the males are kept apart.
5     Bugs Bunny has many cousins, and there are over 40 breeds of rabbits to pick from. If you take care of your rabbit, and if Elmer Fudd isn't tiptoeing around your house muttering about hunting wabbits, bunnies last a long time. They can live from 8 to 10 years. One thing to keep in mind with a rabbit is that they do not generally get along with dogs or cats. Dogs hunt rabbits, and cats think bunnies are yummy, so if you have these other pets, be sure to keep your bunny safe.

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Pets Theme Unit
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