Your child asking for a pet is something that every parent is familiar with, whether they ask for a fish or a dog. As tempting as it might be to give in and welcome a family pet, it isn’t a decision that can be taken lightly. A pet is a serious commitment and many families realise that only too late.
So before you decide to take your kids to the shelter to pick out the newest addition to the family, make sure that everyone in the family (especially your child) understands how big a responsibility having a pet is!Allergies, Anyone?
One of the worst things that can happen is getting a pet only to find out that a family member is allergic to it, necessitating giving the pet up shortly after welcoming it. Adults may or may not know already if they are allergic, but it is recommended to undergo an allergy test or take a family trip to a shelter or pet cafe. Spending a good amount of time around pets can help you check if anyone in the house is allergic to fur or dander. This may mean that you need to get a non-furry pet or perhaps a pet that is better for those allergic such as poodles, as they shed less.Everyday Responsibilities
Many parents accede to their child’s pleading for a pet only to end up being the one who is caring for it. Before you do get a pet, make sure your entire family is ready for this responsibility and set up a chore list with a schedule so that everyone has a role in caring for your newest addition.
Another thing to consider is if your child is old enough to do some of the things that entail taking care of a pet. They may not be old enough to walk a dog alone or bath the pet unsupervised or even train the pet. So do be clear on how much work a pet is and how much each family member will have to take on. Do also keep in mind that if you go on holiday, you will need to have someone to take care of your pet for you or you will have to put it in a pet hotel!Time and Tide Wait for No Pet Source: Pexels
It’s not fair to get a pet just so you can say goodbye to it in the morning as everyone leaves for work and school and then give it a cursory pet or 15-minute cuddle in the evening before going to sleep. That means that your pet will spend a good eight hours at least of doing absolutely nothing but waiting for you to come home every day.Money, Money, Money
One of the things that pet owners are usually unprepared for is how expensive having a pet is. Everything from pet food to leashes will add up to quite a sum. So you ensure that you have the financial capability to provide for your pet before getting it. Each pet has different needs, some may need more regular grooming sessions while others may need specific housing or care equipment and you should do research so that you know exactly what to prepare for. Most importantly, trips to the vet can be pricey and while a scan or an operation may be a large figure, you shouldn’t deny your pet proper healthcare just because you didn’t budget for it.
The key thing to remember is that a pet isn’t just a pet, it’s more like a non-human addition to the family, meaning that it’s crucial for everyone to do their best to welcome it properly and provide the best care for it. While this list isn’t exhaustive, if you’ve considered all that has been mentioned and feel that your family is ready for a pet, then head on down to the shelter to meet your newest member of the family!