Parent’s Guide to Adding Pet to Family
If your kids have been asking for a family pet, you’ve probably found yourself wondering if it’s a good idea. How will a pet fit into your busy schedule? And how will your kids handle the added responsibility? These are completely normal concerns, but the truth is that the benefits of kids having pets far outweigh the challenges. Having a pet helps children learn responsibility, plus other crucial life skills like compassion and trust. Read on to learn more.
How to Know Which Pet Is the One
As beneficial as it is for kids to have pets, it’s important to make sure you pick the right one. All animals need love and care, but some require more work than others. That’s why finding the right pet that matches your family’s situation is essential.
If your family is too busy for a dog but you still want a furry companion, adopting a cat may be the right choice. Kittens and young cats tend to be playful, which can be great fun for kids. Just keep in mind that some cats want more attention than others, and they live life on their terms, so kids must accept that a cat won’t always want to play (or be petted). A third option is to get a small animal, such as a guinea pig or a fish. They require the least amount of time, but kids still get the experience of having a pet along with the responsibility of caring for an animal. Just keep in mind that some small animals make better pets than others According to BabyCenter, some small animals like hamsters and gerbils aren’t the best for kids because they fear people, but guinea pigs are much friendlier.
How Kids Can Get Involved
Choosing the right pet is a decision that parents should weigh carefully. Once you’ve decided on the type, kids can help pick out their pet and its name. Another way to get kids involved is to prepare a list of necessities and shop for them together. Have your child participate in the process you use to research and choose the right food for your new four-legged family member. Encourage kids to think about specific things your new pet will need, in addition to the basics. For example, small dogs may be happier if they have a ramp that makes it easier to get up on furniture. If you decide to get a bigger dog, you may need products that fit his or her size.
Of course, the best way for kids to stay involved is by helping with pet care. Just be sure to give your kids pet care tasks that are age-appropriate. For example, young kids can help with food and water while older kids can help with training and taking your pup for walks. Don’t be surprised if the excitement wears off and kids start complaining about it being a chore. If this happens, one way to get everyone back on track is to use a pet care chore chart
Preparing for a Pet
Finally, once you’ve decided on the pet, it’s time to gather the necessary supplies. You’ll need food and water dishes, a bed, a collar, food extras like a crate, toys, or a harness. Before bringing home, your new pet and letting them out to roam around. Also, important to remove any safety hazards. In the same vein, you would child-proof your home, want to be pet-proof throughout. As ZenBusiness explains, be sure to remove any small objects from the floor, remove any electrical dangers, secure heavy objects or remove them altogether, and make a point to put away hazardous chemicals and toxic plants.
Using a chart that lets kids mark off completed tasks is a great visual reminder of what they’ve accomplished. Over time kids will learn why pet care is worthwhile, and they’ll even take pride in their part. Learning responsibility is part of growing up and getting a family pet is one responsibility that also comes with a fun and furry reward!
Help When Away
Planning a getaway check out Cats at Home Pet Sitting Their Professional Pet Sitting service keeps your cats and small animal pets happy and healthy while you are away!