Are you thinking about getting a pet for your kids? This can be a smart choice because it will help them learn about responsibilities. There’s various research that strongly suggests that pets in the home do have a positive impact on kids. It can also provide them with a lovely companion that they can be incredibly close to.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should rush the decision. There are quite a few questions that you’ll need to ask before you can welcome an animal like this into your home. Here are some of the key considerations.
What’s The Right Pet?
First, you need to think about the right pet for your kids. There are lots of different options here, including:
They all come with their own benefits and issues. For instance, fish are the easiest pet to care for and will cause a minimum level of impact on the day to day management of your home. However, it’s difficult for children to form a close emotional bond with fish. Dogs are the best for this kind of relationship, but they come with more responsibilities and commitments. So, it’s a little bit of a balancing act, and you should also think about your child’s age. While there are plenty of videos online about a dog becoming best friends with a little one from an early age, it’s not always what happens. You have to be careful with dogs and small children. Ideally, they need to be trained first, or the child needs to be at an age where they feel comfortable around the pet.
What Are The Responsibilities?
Next, let’s think about the responsibilities that come with the pet and the ones that you will take care of versus the ones that your kids can manage. For instance, you’ll need to feed the pet. While your child can look after feeding them, you’ll have to choose the right food and treats for the animal.
There’s other responsibilities too like walking and exercising a pet such as a dog. While even small children are capable of walking the dog, you might need to consider going with them to pick up their leavings. This isn’t something you can trust a young child to take care of without help.
Are They Old Enough?
It’s important that you consider their age when deciding if it’s time to get your kids a pet. Every single family is different in terms of what they think is right and wrong, so this is a personal decision that you should not let anyone else influence. Of course, you can ask people’s advice about the age of your children and the type of pet that you’re looking at, but this doesn’t mean that you have to go against what you think based on what they think.
The general consensus though is that if you’re getting a pet specifically for your kids, this is good from the age of 4+. If you’re getting a family pet for everyone, then it doesn’t really matter what age they are. However, if you’re going to be getting your kid to be actively involved in most of the caregiving, and teaching them responsibilities with the animal, then you’re best to wait until they can at least understand and follow instructions.
Are There Any Pets You Should Avoid?
One thing that you’re going to need to ask yourself is whether or not there are any pets that you should be avoiding entirely. Everyone has different opinions on this, with some people saying that certain pets are good where others are bad. For example, dogs are universally known as good companions for kids, so they are a good choice if you’re thinking of getting a new pet. Of course, a dog is a lot of effort and becomes a family pet rather than specifically for the kids, but it’s worth it.
Then you’ve got things like reptiles, turtles, and so on. They’re cute, unlikely to cause any kind of allergies, and easy to maintain, so these are also a good choice of pet for your kids. The real pets that you should be avoiding are things like rats, mice, and ferrets when there are young children around. They bite, and they have the potential to be carrying diseases that are harmful to humans. If you’re considering getting a pet, try to avoid these.
Can You Afford It?
The final thing you need to consider is whether or not you can afford to bring a pet into your life. If you’re struggling financially right now, it might not be the best time to get a pet even if you and your kids want one. Every animal deserves a good life within the home that they are in, and if you can’t provide this then you’re not in the position to have one.
To determine whether or not you are financially capable of having a pet, you need to consider a few things. One, do you have enough income to get everything that you need including food, treats which you can find on this web page, insurance, somewhere for them to sleep, things for them to play with and so much more? Two, are you willing to stop going on holidays if this is the cost of getting a dog? And three, how much on average do you think it’s going to cost to keep your pet of choice? Make sure that you’ve thought carefully through all of these options before you make a final decision.