Every parent will hear the question2 can we have a puppy, kitten, or hamster?” at some point. Whether it’s a short-lived infatuation with their friends new fish or a persistent obsession with cute puppies it’s going to leave you feeling guilty and questioning whether or not your family is ready for a pet. The truth is, as the parent it’s you who needs to make the decision if a pet will suit yours and your families lifestyle and commitments.
Introducing a pet to the family can certainly have positives. They can be a fun companion to force you outdoors, a loving friend in times of need, someone you can snuggle with after a bad day, and a fantastic way for children to learn nurturing and empathy skills. But no matter how much your children are certain they will help and will be dedicated as pet-owners, the daily pet care will always fall on the adult.
Have a look at these questions and see if you really are ready for a pet in your family:
Are Your Children Comfortable And Relaxed Around Animals?
If your children have any fears with animals, getting a pet isn’t the cure for this. If they have had a bad experience or just a general fear, try working on their confidence around animals with friends or families pets before you choose to have one yourself. Start by introducing them to quieter and calmer animals, such as older dogs, instead of puppies. In time your children will be ready to join the experience of having their own pet.
What Kind Of Pet Is Best For Your Family?
You may be looking a certain breed of dog such as a chocolate labrador (you can see more here) however, what matters is finding a pet that’s happy and friendly around children, suits your lifestyle and time. This means you need to lose all your preconceived ideas and do your research.
If you’re thinking about a dog as a pet, make sure you think about the exercise requirements, your lifestyle and the amount of outside you have available. A small pet can be a good place to start for children. Some pets, including chinchillas and hamsters, are nocturnal so if your child wants to play with them during the day they may get agitated if they are woken up. Pets such as gerbils can be squirmy and quick so difficult for children to handle without having too tight a grip. Even if you decide on a smaller pet, you still need to do your homework as they will take the same amount of dedication to look after.
What Commitment Is Your Family Ready For?
If you want to develop a long and meaningful relationship with your family pet, and really get to know their personality then a cat or dog is the ideal choice. However, you also need to take into consideration this is a lengthy commitment, and a smaller pet like a hamster may be better choice for your family.
Your family can enjoy enrichment from having a pet. Once you’ve made the considerations above, then you could be ready to welcome a pet into your home. Just make sure you have the time and dedication to commit to them as they will commit to you.
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