Petfinder

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Petfinder TV Poster Image
Pet "matchmaking" show is cute, family-friendly.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Teaches compromise, empathy, helpfulness, working together. Promotes responsible, thoughtful pet care.

Violence & Scariness

Some disagreements, but they're usually lighthearted. Some physical struggles with animals.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Lots of talk about "crap" and "poop."

Consumerism

Some subtle product placement; for instance, the hosts drive around in a Chrysler, which is one of the show's sponsors.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that a few playful arguments is about as iffy as the content gets in this reality show about matching families with pets. But while family members sometimes disagree about which pet to get, they ultimately must compromise to find an animal companion -- teaching viewers a lesson about putting aside personal goals for the good of the group as a whole. The show promotes adopting pets from shelters. Some stories can be very moving, so be prepared with tissues.

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What's the story?

Inspired by the pet-matching Web site Petfinder.com, PETFINDER helps pair families with the right animal companions. Animal behavior experts Jarod Miller and Dina Zaphiris meet with families torn by indecision. One parent may want a pot-bellied pig, while another yearns for a teacup Yorkie. And the kids always have their own opinions -- reptiles, rodents, birds, and more. Miller and Zaphiris wade through the discord to find out what kind of pet will please the whole gang, as well as what home will be the best setting for certain animals.

Is it any good?

Some of the most entertaining segments of the show are when Miller and Zaphiris bring "Teacher's Pets" on home visits to see how the family members react to different kinds of animals. Reactions range from squeamish to disgust as a pig poops in a sink, a parrot squawks dramatically, and a group of rats wriggles through toy houses.

The experts' ultimate pet choice often provokes moving emotional reactions. Family members must set aside their disagreements when the final pet arrives, teaching a lesson in compromise. And when both kids and adults seem transformed by certain animals, you get a feel-good ending that will please all ages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pets and pet care. What did you learn from this show about the right way to choose and care for a pet? What kind of pets are in your family? What kind of relationship do different family members have with your pet(s)? Does your pet fit your family's style? Do you think a different kind of pet might be a better match for your family? How could you find out?

TV details

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