It is always an enjoyable experience to keep a pet, whether as a single person or a family. Animals such as cats, dogs, rabbits, and even hedgehogs make great non-human companions. In the US alone, 70% of households (making up about 90.5 million different families) own a pet. Are you currently wondering whether you should get a pet for your family? Are your children relentlessly pestering you to make a visit to your local animal rescue shelter? Indeed, choosing a family pet a crucial decision that requires a lot of consideration before making the purchase. Rest assured, this list will outline the essential considerations you need to make.
Consider your child’s developmental stage
Usually, the best thing to do when getting a pet for your child is to wait until they are mature enough to take care of one. Sometimes, at the age of six to seven, a child is better equipped to be gentle with a pet. Younger children treat pets like toys and may provoke a nick or bite from an otherwise gentle creature. When you think your child is ready, have an open conversation about the responsibilities of keeping a pet. There are easy-to-read books made for children on how to care for pets. You can also choose to visit a family friend or relative who has a pet – as a way to introduce and directly involve your child in animal care, as mentioned here https://turtlecaring.com/. When you are ready, you can get a gentler breed such as lab puppies from reputable breeders such as https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/.
Adopting an older pet or getting a younger one
In most cases, an older animal may be an excellent choice for a young child. Younger pets may be too curious, yet to hone gentleness skills, and may bite or scratch at the least provocation. In another breath, avoid going in for an older pet raised in an environment without children. They can easily maul a helpless youngster. Also, buy your pets from reputable shelters and breeders. For older dogs, breeds such as Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Boxers, and Doberman Pinschers may be unsuitable if they spent their puppy days in a home without children.
Pets with tolerant temperaments
Some animals naturally have a gentle disposition with less tendency to get aggressive with young children or other pets in the home. It is easy to lose your heart when you visit an animal shelter. All the animals there seem to seek your attention and further confuse you with your preference. Rather than to adopt one impulsively, take time to familiarize yourself with your preferred pet choice. You can also ask questions about how long the animal has been at the shelter. Usually, it takes a few days for a social dog or cat to adapt to a new environment. If you notice aggression in an animal who has lived there after two weeks, that is not an excellent choice for a tolerant pet.
On the other hand, if the animal is calm around you, try the touch tolerance test. Start from the gentle rub to an increased tempo (without causing pain to the canine). Do this for about 15 minutes, and if it stays with you and wants more contact, that is a keeper. If the dog pulls away and shows signs of frustration, you do not wish to have it around young children.
Did you know shed skin cells, fur, hairs, and feathers from animals could evoke severe allergies in some people? Therefore, if someone in your family has medical allergies such as hay fever, asthma, or eczema, bringing a pet home may not be the right choice for the family. In some cases, your young ones may not exhibit any signs or symptoms of allergy, but if your extended family has a strong history of such disorders- it may be passed on to them.
To test this, visit the animal shelter with your immediate family members on more than one occasion. You should all come into direct contact with the chosen animal(s), and if after a few hours, days, or weeks, there is no reported allergy case, you can bring the animal home. On the other hand, pets such as goldfish and turtles do not shed and are among the top pets that do not cause human allergies.
Making enough time to care for your pet
When you decide to keep a pet, you are responsible for its health and welfare for the rest of its life. It is worth noting that this experience depends mainly on how much time you dedicate to its care, regardless of your schedule and lifestyle. Unfortunately, some owners give up their beloved pets because they never considered the time and effort it takes to create a conducive environment for these creatures. Pets such as dogs and cats require daily care. Their feeding, grooming, and exercising are not one-off activities. On the other hand, pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, and turtles, require minimal care. If we look at the bunny parenting, then an indoor bunny cage is good enough for proper accommodation with less cost Also, goldfish feeds every two or three days, making it ideal for a family with less time.
Make sure there is a plan in place when you are absent
At this moment, you have to consider short and long-term absences. What will happen if for instance, your pet outlives you? Today, there are pet owners who indicate the specifics of what should happen in their will. In some cases, friends and family with a passion for animals inherit pets. Unfortunately, in extreme cases, the animals are returned to the shelter or put down. If you are fortunate to know this beforehand, gradually introduce your pet to its guardian or new owner. The acclimatization process is essential for a smooth transition for your pet, especially if it is a dog or cat.
Change in living situations
Have you considered future changes in your living arrangement that may affect your desire to continue keeping your pet? Perhaps, you used to own a home, but lost it due to foreclosure. Where does your pet go? Because the decision to own a pet comes with great responsibility, you have to commit to having a backup plan should your living situation take an unexpected turn.
Consider local laws and your housing arrangement limits
Maybe you just rented a home with your family, but the landlord has restrictions on the number of pets you can have. Sometimes, the landlord/lady may specify the kinds of pet(s) not to have in the rented home. In another breath, city life may affect your choice of pet, the same way it will influence your preference if you dwell in the suburbs. Did you know some town, state, or county laws prohibit some pet breeds? That affects whether or not to invest in a pet.
The decision to get a family pet may not be an easy one. Although there are several factors you should consider when getting a family pet, they are great additions to your family. With these considerations, you would be able to make the right choice when making a decision.