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ladder of success

This fun climbing toy adds color to any | cage. ($12.99; drs fostersmith.com) ^

december/january 2010 parenting.com 69

»unQpets spring far It

Your bird will love hanging with his very own bungee ($9.99; super birdtoys.net}

house beautiful

With an extra skylight door, this is one super-snazzy cage. ($69,99; petsmart.com) >

Colorful feathers, lilting songs, and a low-maintenance routine are just a few reasons a bird can be an ideal pet. "They're pretty easy to care for—you don't have to walk them or scoop their poop, and they don't shed fur or scratch the furniture," says Larry Nemetz, a veterinarian and owner of the Bird Clinic in Orange, CA. But to succeed at bird ownership with flying colors, you have to keep certain things in mind:

seme species are mere family-friendly than ethers Budgie parakeets are popular because they're gentle and can talk; cockatiels can often talk, whistle, and do tricks. Want less lip? Canaries and finches are beautiful but only chatter softly, you'll need a vet Check in with one soon after you buy your birdie to learn how to handle and care for it; after that, annual visits are a good idea, your bird wltl want to spread his wings Make sure his cage is big enough that he can flap without touching either side, or else he'll be uncomfortable. (Don't let him out to fly free, though—he may get confused and fly into a window.) Place the cage in the living room or bedroom, not the kitchen; fumes from things like cleansers and disinfectants can be hazardous.

he'll go for the greens Besides pellet foods, seeds, and grains, most birds need table scraps like kale, lettuce, and carrots (don't worry, your child will be only too happy to fork 'em over).

your feathered friend Is fragile Supervise to make sure your child handles him gently. "It's very easy to squeeze a bird and block its airflow, so stay close by as they interact,™ says Nemetz. —Jennifer Kelly Geddcs wingin' it |

pally want a pinato!

Stuff it full of treats and toys, ond fet the party begin. ($5.49; drsfoster smith.com)

2009 U.S. POSTAL SERVICE STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, AND CIRCULATION (Required by 39 USC 3685)

1. Publication Title: Parenting;

2. Publication No, 001-036; 3. Filing Date: 10/1/09; 4>. Issue Frequency: Monthly except for a combined December/January issue; 5. No. of Issues Published Annually: 11; 6. Annual Subscription Price: S 14.97; 7• Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: The Parenting Group, 2 Park Ave,, 10th Floor.- New York, NY 10016; 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: The Parenting Group 2 Park Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016; 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: Greg Schumann, The Parenting Group, 2 Park Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016; Editor: Susan Kane, The Parenting Group, 2 Park Ave.,10th Floor New York, NY 10016; Managing Editor: Dawn M. Roode. Tlie Parenting Group, 2 Park Ave .

• New York, NY 10016.10. Owner: Bonnier Corporation. 460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789, Terry L. Snow, P.O. Box 8500, Winter Park, FL 32790; 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders: None; 12. Tax Status (for completion by non-profit organizations authorized to mail at nonprofit rates): Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months; 13. Publication Title: Parenting; 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: September 2009; 15a. Total Number of Copies: 2,412,782 (September 2009: •2,411,409); b. Paid Circulation: (1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: 2,081,737 (September 2009: 2,100,475); (3) Paid Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS: 31,866 (September 2009: 26,584), e. Total Paid Distribution: 2,113,603 (September 2009: 2,127,059); d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: (i) Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541: 204,403 (September 2009: 176,988); e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution: 204,403 (September 2009: 176,988); f. Total Distribution: 2,318,006 (September 2009: 2,304,047); g- Copies not Distributed: 94,776 (September 2009: 107,362); h, Total: 2,412,782 (September 2009: 2,411,409); i. Percent Paid: 91.18% (September 2009: 92.32%), ouivpets a doggone good name d

| eciding what to call a pet is always | hard, but a few guidelines can make it easier: 0 keep H simple Stick with something that's two syllables max, so it's easy for even a small child to say. 9 avoid any name that sounds like a common command, especially if your pet's a dog, says Grant Biniasz, a spokesperson for the Veterinary7 Pet Insurance Company, in Brea, CA. Dub your collie Joe, for instance, and he may think you're saying "no" every time you call him! (Also resist giving your pet a moniker that's similar to your child's, or they'll both end up confused.)

9 give your kids some say They probably have an opinion on whether your family's new BFF looks more like a Rover or a Kibbles. And if you let them pick a name, they'll have a sense of pride and ownership—which may7 inspire them to take on pet chores. Just make sure the name they select isn't something you'd be embarrassed to use in public (imagine screaming "Come back, SpongeBob Square Pants I" at a beagle who's slipped his leash).

0 try to name your pet within the first two weeks so he'll come to learn it (dogs are more likely than eats to eventually respond to whatever you call them). If your pet came pre-named and you want to change it, try out your new name for two weeks; if your fuzzy friend can't adjust, go back to the original. —Teresa Tobat

animal attraction

We know you've gaf some super-cute photos of your kid with your pet—how about sharing them with us? We may publish them here or online! Send your snaps to [email protected].

€7% of you will replace your pet when (sniffle!) the time comes.

Parenting.com poll

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