What to know before deciding on a pet for your family?
Photo by Clint McKoy on Unsplash
At some point, one or more of your children may beg for a family pet. This is especially true if your family loves animals or you’ve mentioned the idea of getting a pet. There are several benefits to having a furry family member, such as more physical exercise and improved mental health. A pet can also teach kids about responsibility and reinforce lessons about loyalty, love, and trust.
Of course, everyone’s family dynamics are different, which means your household may not be prepared for a pet. So, before you make the decision to get a family pet, here are a few things you should know.
The health of all family members
Before you start stocking up on puppy necessities and choosing the breed of dog you want as a pet, you have to think about the health of everyone in your house. Check to see if your children have allergies to pet dander. If you find that someone in your home has a pet allergy, there are still some dogs and cats you can purchase that won’t cause allergic reactions.
Think about the cost of pet care
It’s also important to find out how much the pet you want will cost. Consider the fact that you’ll not only have to purchase the pet, but you’ll also have to pay to care for the animal. This means setting aside money for pet food, toys, and veterinarian appointments. You can alleviate some of the potential costs by setting up a pet insurance plan with a service like Bivvy.com.
If you think you can handle the ongoing expenses of having a pet but can’t afford the initial purchase of a pet, you may want to adopt from your local shelter instead of going to a breeder or pet store.
Realize that pet ownership is a huge commitment
Before you bring a cute and cuddly pet home, understand that caring for the animal is a big commitment. It’s also important to realize that some pets require more attention than others. For instance, some dogs have to spend time outdoors each day and may get restless and rummage through the house if they’re left indoors for too long. So, you’ll need to have a large yard that is fenced in so your pet can play outside while you’re at work without escaping or ruining your home.
If you know that you and your loved ones have hectic work and school schedules but you still want a pet, you may want to consider animals that are low-maintenance. For instance, you don’t have to worry about taking fish or pet frogs for a walk. You can cuddle with small mammals like hamsters or rabbits but can keep these animals in cages when you’re away from home to ensure your valuable items are safe.
It’s also important to think about your child’s maturity level. If he/she has been begging for a pet, you may want to start with a goldfish to ensure your children will remember to feed the fish daily. Once your kids prove they are responsible, you may want to upgrade the family pet to a cat or dog.
Pets require lots of direct care
You and your loved ones should have a serious discussion about who will provide primary care for the pet. Make sure your children know about all the essential tasks that are part of pet care. It’s also helpful to read a few books about the pet you want and assign roles to each family member so that everyone will feel included when attending to the new family pet.
Consider the pet’s behavior
You should know about training options for your pet as well. If you’re considering a dog that is very energetic or want a cat who is known for hunting small animals and bring them in the house, it’s important to train your pets. Make sure you know how much training will cost and how long it will take before you start to see results. This gives you a realistic idea of what to expect once you welcome a new pet into your home.
These are all necessary factors to think about if you and your relatives have decided that you want to become pet owners. Make sure you interview a few local veterinarians and fellow pet owners as well to get the essential information you need for keeping your pet healthy and happy.
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