1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »Atchison
  4. »4-H Youth Development
  5. »Projects
  6. »Pets Project

Atchison County

Pets Project

Image result for Pets

Are You Into It ? 

“Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my!” Do not make good pets but many other animals do. The 4-H pet project helps you explore what kind of pet fits into your family’s lifestyle and how to be an excellent caretaker of your pet.

• Identify breeds and animal species and their characteristics.
• Learn about the selection, care, needs of pets and basic principles of pet behavior
• Demonstrate care and management in feeding, handling, grooming and fitting/showing
• Explore health regulations, first aid, and simple treatments for ailments
• Learn and practice animal ownership responsibilities

Here's What You Can Do All Year !


Take Pets Further ! 

Here are other opportunities to explore Pets:
• Contact your county Kansas State University Extension Office for information about local pet related events.
• Learn about service animals and how they compare and contrast to pets
• If you are interested in veterinary science and taking care of pets, visit with Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
• Job-shadow at a local business (pet store, veterinary clinic, breeder, etc.) in a career that interests you
• Explore health safety issues with cats and pets – what diseases do cats and pets have that might make humans ill?
• 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
• If you are in high school, consider attending the annual Kansas 4-H Youth Conference

4-H Grows Here

KSU Project Page

Fair Resources

Department R:  Pet Show

Step It Up!

Pass it on! Now that you know how, share it with others. Here are ideas to get you started.


• How to approach a pet safely
• How to prepare a pet for showing
• How to train a pet for exhibition
• How to select a nutritional diet
• How to select a cat, gerbil, hamster, etc. as a pet
• How to make a carrying cage


• Clean up after your pet
• Volunteer at an animal shelter
• Write a letter to your local paper about the importance of having household pets spayed or neutered


• Organize a pet show for your club
• Organize a fundraiser to help benefit an animal shelter
• Research and share with others why it’s not a good idea to keep wild animals as pets
• Develop a plan to foster pets of deploying soldiers

Exhibit Ideas

• Exhibit your cat or 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
• Write a story about famous pets for a younger sibling (Garfield, Lassie, Snoopy)
• Visit a pet store and find as many pieces of cat or 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