Sooner or later, every parent is probably going to hear: "Please, am I able to have a puppy?" Rather than dodge the question, parents should consider whether their family is prepared for a pet, says Sharon Bergen, senior vice chairman of education and training for Knowledge Learning Corporation, the nation's leading provider of infancy care and education. Bergen suggests that oldsters weigh the pros and cons of adding a pet to the household before agreeing to a child's request. "A pet can teach children responsibility and become an exquisite addition to a family-or it are often a burden," she says. Bergen recommends families consider the subsequent before deciding. Who will look after the pet? Families should agree beforehand who are going to be liable for feeding, walking, bathing and cleaning up after the pet. Do you have space for a pet? Families living in apartments or townhouses may prefer a cat, a bird or fish, instead of a Labrador retriever .