Animals can be a rewarding and entertaining addition to any household, and owning pets can have many benefits for children. A child can often gain confidence and a sense of responsibility looking after an animal, and can also develop a caring/respectful attitude towards them. There’s much to gain from owning a pet, but much to consider too before buying one.
One of the main things to consider is that pets can become an important part of any household, especially animals like dogs that will be a part of your family for years. Ensure that you’re prepared to take on the responsibility of whichever pet you decide to buy, and you research what is involved in looking after your chosen pet beforehand. Find out how big it will grow, how to care for it, and most of all, is it suitable for your children.
It’s likely that you’ll end up being the main carer for your pet, and will certainly have to supervise your children and/or teach them to respect and care for your chosen pet. During your research, consider both the age of your children, and the age/type of animal you intend to buy. Some animals or breeds may be too big and boisterous for young children, only awake at night, or too delicate to be handled by young ones. Adult cats, large dogs, or rescue animals with little detail on their behaviour, could come under this category. Toddlers especially can be excitable curious beings, so it’s important to address any safety concerns for both child and pet.
Along with safety issues, there are a host of general concerns to address when searching for a pet. The most important one is the cost. Some animals and their equipment may be expensive at the outset, and then relatively cheap to maintain; others may be fairly inexpensive all through their lives. Then there are pets such as dogs, which cost a lot more to buy, and maintain, in terms of food, toys, and vets bills for any injections or injuries.
The other concern is space. Do you have enough space for your pet and its home/equipment? Do you have room outside to exercise your pet, and if it lives outside can you offer protection against the cold winter weather. Also, animals can scratch, chew, and tear, so it’s worth preparing and pet proofing your home as much as you can.
Please browse through the site for more detail on different animals, and how they would fare as pets for your children.