Uncommon Critters Can Make the Best First Pets

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Petco™ is hosting their monthly “Meet the Critters” event January 14-15, 2012, which is themed “My First Pet”.

Who can forget their very first pet? Whether it was a dog, cat or goldfish, the memory of caring for and playing with a beloved first pet is not easily forgotten. On January 14 – 15, 2012 from 1 – 2pm, Petco™ is hosting their monthly “Meet the Critters” event which is themed “My First Pet”. The interactive event will focus on educating guests on why untraditional critters like the hamster, betta fish, leopard gecko and parakeet, make great first pets for families and children. Small animals like these are ideal for children because they are easy to care for while helping kids develop into responsible pet parents.

During the two-day, family-friendly Meet the Critters event, attendees can interact with these pets, as well as learn proper care information from one of Petco’s trained staff members. In addition, certain stores will feature additional activities such as meet & greets, scavenger hunts and fun, interactive pet-centric games. The free, monthly educational event allows guests of all ages to enjoy these hands-on activities while learning important information about responsible pet ownership.

Here are some fun facts about these critters and reasons why they make great first pets:

  •     Hamsters originated in the Middle East and southeastern Europe. The word 'rodent' is derived from the latin word 'rodere' which means 'to gnaw' and the word 'hamster' comes from the German word 'hamstern' which means 'to hoard' or 'to store', referring to the hamsters tendency to collect food in its pouches.
  •     Hamsters have a docile temperament, which makes them safe around children, have relatively clean habits and groom themselves regularly.
  •     The betta fish was named after an ancient clan of Asian warriors known as “The Bettah”
  •     Extremely low maintenance and cost effective, the betta fish doesn’t need much more than a bowl of clean water and to be fed everyday. Children enjoy the pretty, animated movements of this fish and learn responsibility while caring for them.
  •     Nearly all geckos have a voice, leopard geckos have a small "bark" they use if agitated.
  •     Leopard Geckos live much longer than most small animals. The average life span of a healthy Leopard Gecko is 12 to 15 years. The world record being 25+ years!
  •     The first pair of parakeets, aka Budgies, were exported from Australia in 1840, at an outrageously high price for that time.
  •     Parakeets are fun for young aviculturists because they tolerate being handled quite well, are small and relatively easy to care for, an can learn to talk, making them ideal companions for children.

For more information on the event please contact a local Petco or go to http://www.petco.com/kids.

About Petco
Petco is a privately held specialty retailer that provides products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. We operate nearly 1,100 stores in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at http://www.petco.com. Our nonprofit organization, The Petco Foundation, has raised more than $75 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support approximately 7,000 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.


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Holly Hitchcock