4 Important Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet for Your Child

pet for your child

Having a pet at home is a good way to teach your child about responsibility. The thought of looking after a pet can give your child a sense of purpose and accomplishment from being able to take care of something on his or her own.

Advantages of Having a Pet

Contrary to what other people say of pets being a hassle, there are still many reasons why it’s good to have a pet at home.

  • Compassion – Pet ownership teaches children to develop empathy and compassion. They learn how to take care of others besides themselves.
  • Exercise – Children with pets have higher activity levels. This, in turn, helps reduce health risks like diabetes and obesity.
  • Protection – Pets like dogs are trainable and are loyal to their masters. Whenever a dangerous situation arises, your dog can protect your
  • Reduce Stress – Pets have the ability to soothe stress in children. Often, a child talks to his or her pet to confide his or her problems like a friend.
  • Care and Respect – Caring for a pet helps cultivate a child’s nurturing side.

pet for your child - cat and kidDepending on what type of pet you choose to have, the new addition will surely bring joy to your entire family. But before you rush into getting a pet, remember to consider first the following things.

Is your child ready for a pet?

Consider the age of your child. Most experts recommend that a child be at least six years old before introducing a pet to him or her. As the parent, you’re the best judge if your child is mature enough to handle a pet.

Assess if your child already demonstrates discipline and self-control while interacting with others. He or she should already understand the importance of obedience. This way, your child may also be able to instill obedience in his or her pet.

Are you prepared to help in caring for your pet?

As an adult, it’s your responsibility to guide your young child in his or her first attempt to care for another being. Having a pet is an obligation and not something you can try and return if things don’t work out.

Make sure to set aside your schedule during instances when you have to visit the vet for pet vaccinations.pet for your child - two kids and a cat

The cost of pet maintenance

The cost of having a pet at home will depend on what type of pet you intend to have. Each pet requires financial investment like payment for vet visits, as well as pet food and accessories. So you have to prepare yourself to spend cash on your child’s pet.

When choosing a pet, it’s important that you consider the cost and ask yourself if you can afford it.

The pet selection

There are many domestic animals that can become your child’s pet. Consider what your child wants and check if that type of pet doesn’t have any negative effects on his or her health condition. And if you’re planning to get a cat or a dog, your area may require microchipping for pet identification.

  • Dogs – A puppy is a popular choice among children and can become your child’s best friend. As one of the most high-maintenance pets, canines are a big commitment. Make sure to remind your child about providing the right care for your dog.
  • Guinea Pigs – Since they’re a smaller type of pet, they’re easier to tame and handle. Guinea pigs are social animals and are happiest when they come as a pair. Visit an online pet shop for pet food and Vitamin C supplements to keep your guinea pigs healthy and happy.pet for your child - a boy with his dog
  • Birds – A pet bird is social and intelligent. It’s also a great pet for families with limited space like those living in condos or apartments. However, birds are more fragile than dogs and will require gentle care.
  • Cats – A cat requires less maintenance than a dog and provides great company. Take note that cats can be distant even to their owners, and may react negatively to a child who wants to cuddle. Explain to your child that a cat has a different temperament and may not want the same attention as a dog.

If you’re unsure of which pet will match your child, reach out to an animal shelter or veterinarian for suggestions. Visit animal shelters together with your child to browse for potential pets. Sometimes, a child gets drawn to a certain animal and identifies with your prospective pet themselves.

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