Is your child ready for their first pet? There are many questions to ask before bringing home a new member of the family.
He is asking for a dog, or a snake, or maybe just fish. Before you say yes and head over to the pound or pet store make sure you are all ready by asking yourself these 5 questions:
1. Do we have time?
Pets should be thought of as members of the family. If you don’t have time and you aren’t willing to make time, then a virtual pet might be best for your child. Think about time required for walking, cleaning, and yes, cuddling.
2. What are the demands of the pet we want?
Fish aren’t really “just fish” that only need to be fed. In reality it takes a lot of hard work to take care of a fish. Tanks get dirty fast and maintaining the right chemical balance of the water can be very difficult. It’s not something to be taken lightly or you will have to deal with the tears when you flush that fish down the toilet.
3. What pet is best suited for our family?
Do some research and ask some friends. If you are picking out a dog, remember that not all breeds are well suited for children. You should also consider things like how often you go on vacation, if the pet could
travel with you, and will it be easy to find a pet sitter if your pet must stay home.
4. Can we afford a new pet?
This may seem silly but finances are an important consideration. Many animals are left deserted when a family finds out their animal is sick and they can’t afford medical intervention. A small problem then turns into a big problem.
5. Are you ready to completely take care of the new pet?
Your child may have good intentions and fully plan on doing everything needed to take care of that new puppy, but this is the real world. As days go by, it will be all Mom and Dad, so be sure to keep that in mind when you make your final decision.