Your child keeps begging you for a pet? For your comfort, there are very few children who do not do that. However, sometimes bringing a pet home is not the best choice. This is no small decision, especially if you are thinking about a dog or a cat.
Growing up with pets
As much as they can be cute, you should think twice before bringing pets for kids. How can you be sure that your kid is ready for the responsibility and care of another life? Pets are a great way to teach your kid to be responsible and learn how to care about someone. But, do you know what questions should be considered before the final decision?
Is the child responsible?
If your children are responsible and accept well routine duties such as garbage removal, clearing the table after meals and maintaining their rooms tidy, there are very good chances that they will take good care of the small pets.
Is your child sure that he wants a pet?
In many cases, at the end the parents are those who take care of the pets, because the kids get bored. When the pet enters your family, you will hardly be separated from it, so you will be prepared to take that responsibility too. You must be sure that your kids really want a pet, and it’s not a passing fad, because the pet is a huge responsibility and if they are bored you will end up taking care of kids and pets too.
Is your child prone to allergies?
If necessary, consult a pediatrician to make sure that the child is not allergic to certain types of pets and their fur or feathers. Also, most children love animals but do not know how to behave around them. Pay attention to how your child behaves towards animals in the neighborhood. Is it considerate and kind with them? Or perhaps is rough and noisy? Animals can be bothered by that type of behavior.
How old is your child?
Experts advise that children under five years old, are not able to take care of pets alone, especially reptiles, because their immune system is not strong enough to defend itself against diseases that these pets can cause. Also, always wash your hands after touching a pet.
Which are the best pets for kids?
Generally, small mammals such as chinchillas, hamsters and mice are suitable for children older than eight years. Rabbits and small reptiles are suitable for children older than ten years. High school students can take care of fish, larger reptiles and birds.
Dogs and cats are in slightly different category. If the child is naturally responsible, probably you should wait until he is at least ten years old, but under the condition that the whole family is ready to divide the responsibility for a dog or a cat.
Does your family travel often?
If you travel frequently, consider that you will have to take your pets with you. Small mammals, birds, fish and reptiles can be left for a few days alone. But if you have to be away for a long time, you’ll have to take them with you or ask your neighbors or relatives to take care of them for a few days.
Cats need care at least once a day to get food, and the litter box should also be cleaned often. Consider how friendly are your neighbors to animals and if they are willing to take that responsibility for a while.
As dogs are concerned, they are the most demanding pets. It would be best to take them with you or leave it to someone known to him, since leaving the family can be kind of shocking for the dog. Also, if the dog is socialized, consider the dog hotels who offer all-day care for dogs.