Pets can be a huge part of your family life, but at the same time, it can be hard to know when the right time is for you to take that step. If you want to make sure that you are making the right call or if you want to make sure that you are not making a rash decision, then this is the post for you.
Your Children are Happy around Animals
Getting a pet is not a good idea if your children have a fear of animals. Your child is more likely to make a mistake around the animal and this is the last thing that you want. It is a good idea for you to build up your child and their comfort level up in different ways instead. It may be that you take the time to visit an animal shelter or that you also spend time with a friend’s pet. If you can do this, then you will soon find that you are able to give them the chance to grow accustomed to being around an animal naturally and in their own time.
Your Child Knows how to Respect Animals
Kids have to know how to respect animals and they also need to know how to act. Your children need to know that animals cannot be hit or tugged. They have to be left alone when they are eating or when they are sleeping. It is also important to know that there is an appropriate time and place to interact with a pet. If your child is showing a level of self-control, then this will help you to know if now is the right time for you to get a pet or not.
Your Child can Handle General Household Tasks
Think about it, does your child do what you ask when you request them to unload the dishwasher or when you ask them to take care of the responsibilities that they have? If not, then you may not be ready to welcome a pet into your home. If they are the ones asking for a pet, then you need to remind them that they need to take care of their own responsibilities before they are ready to take on more.
Your Child Brushes their Teeth without a Reminder
This may sound strange but at the end of the day, your child has to remember to brush their teeth without any reminders. If they can do this then this is a very good indicator that they have a strong level of maturity and that they are ready to take care of a pet. If your child is going to have the overall responsibility of taking care of a pet, then it is wise for you to wait until they reach their teen years. Before this, they can help out with some caregiving aspects of having a pet, but they are probably not ready to do it all by themselves. It doesn’t matter how responsible they seem either because you have to do spot checks now and again to make sure that they are doing everything right.
They are Committed
Make sure that your child is in it for the long haul. You need to do this before you make the decision to bring your pet home. You have to ensure that your pet is welcome and that it is not just a phase. Pet ownership can sometimes feel like a chore and the novelty of walking the dog will wear off. Even when this happens, you need to make sure that you are still going to make sure that the needs of the pet are met.
Your Children want a Pet that Suits the Family
Children have to know that not every single pet will be a good fit for your family. Every animal needs some kind of enrichment but some require far more than others. You have to consider which type of pet will suit the time and the space that you have available. Believe it or not, birds require the most time investment, and this is followed by dogs. Next up, you have cats. If you are a very active family then getting a labrador retriever pup could be a good option for example, but if you are a regular couch potato then getting a cat may be a much better option.
Your Kids have Energy
If your child has a lot of energy and they love running around the yard and even going to the park, then having a pet may be a very good idea. It is a great way for them to deal with that extra burst that they have and when they are old enough, they can walk the dog on their own, if this is the pet you decide to go with. That being said, you have to be ready to deal with the responsibility on your own, if they are not able to keep up with the commitment. Teaching your child to be responsible is very important, but being responsible for your child and the pet is even more so. The pet should not suffer if your child is not able to keep up with their requirements.
You have had a Successful Run
It is a fantastic idea for you to try and spend some time with pets before you actually get one of your own. It is wise for you to ask someone if you can look after their pet, or their dog for a week so that you can get a good feel for what it is like. If you can do this, then you will soon be able to see how your children react to the pet and you can also find out if it is a suitable option for your family. Getting a cat is probably not a good idea as a trial because changing the environment can be stressful for the cat, and if they are allowed outside then they can easily become lost and disoriented by their surroundings. A dog on the other hand could work.
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