Oh, the Pets You Can Get!

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2
Animal Welfare
Civil Society
Oh the Pets You Can Get
Philanthropic Literature
by Tish Rabe and Aristides Ruiz; A literature guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to build children's understanding of generosity, community, and service to others. 
 Spanish Version Attached.

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Did you know you can get small and large pets? Pets that can fly, swim, crawl, and walk? Each pet is unique and needs special things to be well taken care of.

Told in delightful Dr. Seuss-style rhyme, this book is a good tutorial for any child considering a pet. The text illustrates what pets need for exercise, food, drink, comfort, cleaning, health care, and love. If you are considering getting a pet or have a child who needs to learn proper pet care, this is a good place to start.

Before Reading

ASK: Do you know what kinds of pets you can get? Make a list of different kinds of pets that you know about.

SHOW: Look at the cover of the book. Were any of the pets in the picture on the list you just made?

CONNECT: Do you have a pet? How many? Why did you decide to get that kind of pet?

During Reading

ASK: All the animals in Gerpletz are happy. Why do you think that is?

SHOW: Look at all the pictures in the book. How are the people caring for the animals?

CONNECT: What are some other ways to care for a pet that you do not see in the book? Think about what you can do to meet the basic needs of pets, such as the need to eat, sleep, have a home, and go to the bathroom.

After Reading

ASK: What does the story say we should think about before we get a pet? Why do you think they are important?

SHOW: Look at the picture on page 38. Do you think the dog is a good pet for this little boy? Why or why not?

CONNECT: After reading this book, do you think you and your family are ready for a pet? What kind of pet do you think would be good in your home? Where could you go to look for a new pet?


  1. This story tells us about lots of rules we must follow to take good care of our pets. Make a pet rules poster. First, go through the book and find 10 rules. Next, write out the rules on a large piece of construction paper and decorate with crayons and stickers. Finally, post your pet rules on a bulletin board or the refrigerator in your home.

    Make a rules poster for your very own pet. Write down all the rules you know you must follow to keep your own pet healthy and happy.
  2. Before you get a family pet, you should think about which type of pet (dog, cat, hamster, etc.) would best suit you and your family members. Keep the following in mind:
    • Ask everyone in the family to describe their perfect pet.
    • If you are getting a pet for your child, be sure to give the child responsibility for some of the pet’s care, as age appropriate. Divide up the daily chores of caring for the pet, and decide who will do what. Remember that ultimately, the adults are responsible for the welfare of the pet.
    • Make sure your family is ready for the changes an animal will bring into your home, such as chores, training, and time to spend with the pet.
    • Does anyone in your family have allergies?
    • Educate yourself by reading books about pet care and asking pet-owning friends about their experiences.
    • Some young animals and children may not mix well.
    • Make sure the pet suits your home and lifestyle.
    • Get your supplies, food and toys before bringing your pet home.
      [Tips courtesy of the ASPCA]
  3. To find tips for caring for your pet, go to the Pet Care page of the ASPCA’s Web site.
  4. One way to care for a pet is to make sure you are ready if your pet ever gets hurt. Create a pet first aid kit. You will need a re-closable plastic storage container (shoe box size or smaller).
    Fill your container with the following:
    • Individually wrapped gauze squares
    • Antiseptic wipes
    • Hydrocortisone cream or spray
    • Rolled bandages and tape
    • Cotton swabs
    • Small scissor
    • Latex gloves
    • A large square of fabric (for a tourniquet or stabilizing injured limbs)
    • Tweezers
    • Thermometer
    • Hydrogen peroxide
    • Additional items could include:
    • Liquid bandage spray (great for quickly sealing wounds)
    • Styptic powder (stops bleeding quickly)
    • Paw wax or spray (to protect dog’s paws)
    • Thermal blanket (good in case of shock)
    • Instant cold pack
    • Pet-safe bug spray
    • First aid booklet (see www.redcross.org)
  5. Keep a first aid kit in your house and in your car if you take your pet lots of places.