If it was up to your kids, you’d probably be living on a farm, surrounded by sheep, cows, horses, donkeys, and even pigs… They would never run out of things to do, nor four legged friends to play with. However, quite possibly thankfully, that isn’t an option for most families. But your kids are still going to be asking you (constantly) for a pet. So here’s some tips on how to take them up on that offer, without your home being overrun, and without your kids losing interest…
What Size Pet?
For any young child, a hamster or other small animal is a good option. Especially when starting out. Well, you could even start with a goldfish since that requires even less maintenance, but something with four legs that can run around the living room is more fun, right? So yes, perhaps a hamster, guinea pig, or something along those lines. Of course, you may get pestered (constantly) for something bigger, but perhaps off start small and see how things go.
Another type of pet to look into is a small dog such as a teacup puppy. These can be researched and even purchased from websites like www.littlepuppiesonline.com, and they are often bred to have the best temperaments of two breeds making them perfect for children.
Remember, whatever you choose, you must make sure your children are taught how to look after it, and know what the pet needs. It’s a good idea to give them some tasks so they start learning pet responsibility, and can then maybe work their way up to something bigger in future.
Are They Old Enough to Understand?
If you are considering getting a pet that requires a lot of maintenance, it’s important to think about whether your children understand what’s required, and whether they are up to the task.
Things to consider include feeding, bathing, medications, being good to the pet, giving the pet boundaries (and sticking to them), and of course if you have a dog, daily walks. If your kids are going to insist a pet joins the family, they need to get involved in looking after it. Are they old enough to handle that responsibility?
At the simplest level, the bigger the pet, the more it costs to keep it in good health! There’ll be vet bills, food, perhaps a kennel, toys, and all manner of animal specific things to consider.
If your family dog lives to 15 or even longer, it’s quite likely your kids aren’t going to be around towards the end of its life to look after it. So you’ll have to think ahead. Who will be looking after the animal when it’s older and the kids are no longer around? Will you both be at work, with the animal at home all day?
Cats are a lot easier than dogs in this respect. You can leave a cat to its own devices and they’re generally happy. But dogs are a different matter and can get quite lonely.
These are a few things you must keep in mind before you jump into owning a family pet.