What is it All About?
Lions, tigers, and bears…oh my! These do not make good pets, but many other animals do. The 4-H pocket pet project will help you explore what kind of pet fits into your family’s lifestyle and how you can be an excellent caretake for it.
Grow in Your Project
- Gather information and determine the best pet for your family
- Learn about the proper care, grooming and feeding of your pet
- Learn to identify the parts of your pet for conversations with your vet
- Create a plan to prevent your pet from getting lost or finding it if it gets lost
- Purchase and use the appropriate grooming equipment and techniques
- Plan a training and exercise program for your pet
- Prepare for participation in a pet show
- Make a decision about breeding or not breeding your pet
- Compare the labels on pet foods to make an informed decision on content and price
- Keep a diary of your pet’s health and eating habits
- Develop a business plan for a pet care or pet sitting business
- Assess careers related to pets and pet business
- Help a friend make a decision about pet ownership
- Research diseases in pet mammals, birds, and fish
- Identify symptoms and a course of action for a disease in your pet
- Pet Pals, Level 1 (06359)*
- Scurrying Ahead, Level 2 (06260)*
- Scaling the Heights, Level 3 (06261)*
- Pet Helper’s Guide (06262)*
Take Your Project Further!
- Learn about service animals and how they compare and contrast to
- Explore what kinds of birds make the best pets
- Learn how pet birds and fish arrive at the local pet store. Do breeders in the United States raise them or are they imported from other countries?
- Research all the kinds of parasites your pet might get and how to protect you and your pet
- Research the difference between fresh water fish tanks and salt water tanks
- Sometimes people give bunnies and chicks for presents at Easter – explore the pros and cons
- Explore what kind of restrictions your community might have on pets? Can a pet owner keep a large snake in their backyard – or call a chicken or pot-bellied pig a pet?
- Explore the subject of animal assisted therapy, how it is used and what the benefits are
Applying Project Skills to Life
Enhance Your Communication Skills
- Give a demonstration about your pet and what it eats
- Create a citywide campaign about the importance of cleaning up after your pet
Get Involved in Citizenship and Service
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Take your pet to a school or nursing home
Learn about Leadership
- Organize a club pet show
- Develop a plan to foster pets for deploying soldiers
- Start a pet sitting business
Showing What You’ve Learned
- Exhibit your pet at the fair
- Make a first aid kit for a pet. Tell why and how each item is used
- Share diet and nutrition information for raising a healthy pet
- Interview your veterinarian about a microchip to identify your pet; develop a video about options
- Attend a pet show; take photos and make a notebook about pet breeds
- Visit a pet store and find as many pieces of pet equipment as you can. Identify necessary equipment and costs
- Make a poster on diseases your pet can get. Tell about its discovery, effects, treatments, etc
- Research jobs related to pets; make a poster showing three jobs that interest you
- Develop a video showing the steps in training a pet
- Research the country or area your pet came from. Take special note of the people, tradition and other types of animals that live in the area. Design a poster showing your pet’s origin
- Design a toy for your pets; tell about your decisions related to safety and cleanliness
Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Pocket Pets. Retrieved from: https://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/projects/animal-science/pocket-pets.html.
*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.
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