5 Things To Consider Before Giving Your Child A Pet This Christmas

5 Things To Consider Before Giving Your Child A Pet This Christmas

Thinking of gifting a pet this holiday? Here are 5 things to mull over.
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1. Are you ready for a pet?

Chances are, if you’re planning on getting your child a pet for Christmas, a lot of the corresponding responsibilities will fall into your hands. That doesn’t just mean letting it inside and outside and remembering to feed it daily. This means finding and paying someone to take care of it if you go out of town, regulating its exercise, giving it the required attention, and a whole lot of added expense (To put it in perspective, I pay around $50 for a nourishing dog food choice, and based on the rate my 50-pound dog eats, this is a monthly-recurring expense.) -- not to mention the added dog hair all over the carpet that never wants to admit defeat to the vacuum cleaner, and the muddy paw prints that trot across your kitchen tile after a rainy day. Although the pet might be considered a belonging of your child, a pet is a family responsibility and its presence will affect the lives of each family member.

2. Have you considered the other options?

It’s easy to imagine the joyous reaction of your child upon receiving a pet as a gift, and it’s even easier to get your mind set on this one, perfect gift idea. However, before settling on the idea of gifting a pet, consider the other options. When I was younger, my sister adopted an endangered manatee from the World Wildlife Fund. No, we didn’t have a manatee living in our pond, but instead she received a stuffed, plush manatee, a certificate of adoption, and recurrent updates on how the endangered species was doing. Of course, it wasn’t the same as having a pet, but as kids, we found fun in simply learning about the species and seeing images of the manatee she adopted. World Wildlife Fund offers adoptions for 143 different species of animals and proceeds go towards improving the habitats and their lives. If a pet is going to be too demanding on your family’s lifestyle, consider this symbolic adoption as an option, as it will help educate your child on animal welfare, while also supporting a positive cause.

3. Down the road, what will change?

Pets are a long-term commitment and although this sounds obvious, it is often an overlooked statement. Think about a couple of weeks down the road, or months, or years. A pet becomes an additional member of your family so regardless of where your life takes you in the future, you must accommodate for your pet. Consider how your life and mind may change in the near future, and how having a pet will affect your life in the years to come. If you are on the fence already about whether or not a pet is the right idea for your family, you should wait until you feel confident that the time is right.

4. Is your child ready for a pet?

In order to properly care for a pet, a person must first develop the maturity and responsibility required to nurture the animal to the standards it needs. It is easy to fantasize about the loyal companionship provided by a dog and all the great joys pets can bring, but caring for a pet is a different story. Before giving your child a pet this Christmas, make sure your child is informed of the love and attention necessary to raise a pet, as well as the discipline and training. Along with all of the wonderfully rewarding, positive aspects of having a pet, comes all of the hard work, time, and commitment towards caring for it.

5. Adoption

So, after careful thought and planning, you have decided to buy your child a pet for Christmas. I have but one last thing for you to consider: adoption. Each year, approximately 6.5 million animals enter animal shelters in the U.S. alone and of those, only 3.2 million are adopted in the year. Before looking for a local breeder, and definitely before searching nearby pet stores, consider rescuing an animal from a shelter.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I Will Always Call Myself A Dreamer

The new thing you should practice: reading the vibrations that surround you.

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In "The Science That Will Change Your Future", Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about how everything in life communicates through vibrations. We can simplify everything, even to the atomic level, to good and bad vibes. Before you snort at the person who says you're giving off bad vibes, maybe consider this first. Dr. Lipton talks about how the gazelle doesn't go up to the lion and asks, "Are you my friend?", instead the gazelle can feel its bad vibes. How can the gazelle do this?

Vibrations do one of two things when they interfere with each other: mesh or clash. Good vibes are vibrations that mesh together. Bad vibes are vibrations that clash. The gazelle can sense its energy clashing with the energy of the lion (he terms this as destructive interference).

Dr. Lipton talks about how we are trained to not sense these vibrations. We see animals do it! Some people will tell you that cats just don't like them, for whatever reason. I have had many friends who said that if their dog didn't like you, then you probably aren't a good person.

Animals base everything off of their intuition to these vibrations; it is their key to survival. Everyone knows that dogs and cats can't see color. But have you ever really watched your pet? How their eyes dart around the room, or they growl at nothing? They are seeing things we aren't able to see. They are sensing vibrations in the room that we are not capable to sense.

What does any of this have to do with classifying yourself as a dreamer?

Those who are classified as dreamers are mainly those who pursue careers dealing with their artistic abilities. Having artistic abilities means you are more in-tune with not only your emotions but the emotions in the space around you. You are more perceptive of others and your surroundings. Thus, you are more in-tune with the vibrations that your art comes from. Your brain makes a neural connection between an emotion (a vibration), and what you produce (your art).

If you are a dreamer, you are unrealistic. You are perceived as driftwood; floating on idealism. If you are stiff and follow a designated path, you are practical and considered a "realist."

But who is more real? The one who ignores the vibrations in their environment; the businessman guiding the Caterpillars? Or the dreamer, who not only recognizes the vibes, but is able to portray them in a way that others can not only comprehend, but feel in their own ways?

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