A pet has its way of finding a home in human hearts. If you're a parent and have grown up alongside a dog, a cat, or perhaps a pet of more exotic species, no wonder you would want to have a pet for your kids, too. Having a pet perhaps brings warm memories of your childhood, and you want your kids to grow up with the same experience.
Probably, too, you happen to read an article that pets are good for children’s mental health. Nowadays, the benefits of pet therapy are greatly backed up by science. Psychology Today mentioned that a review of 22 studies on child development and pet ownership correlates positively. Accordingly, pet ownership reduces stress, provides support, and enhances communication skills.
Or maybe your kids have seen TV shows and are just completely mesmerized with having a pet they can call their own. They would probably love to have their own cat, mouse, or dog, and indulge themselves in the childhood fancy of adventure in pet land. In this time when kids can't socialize as before, having a reliable pet can be a good answer to the need for companionship.
Are your Kids Pet-Ready?
However, getting a pet for your kids takes a lot of consideration. While pets certainly bring happiness, they also bring responsibility for every family member. Since you would love to make your pet happy, too, you understand that having a pet at home means extra preparations. Pets need tender loving care, and they will, no doubt, consume time and attention. You may also need a safe space for your pet during travels. So, how will you make your kids pet-ready?
Here are some tips to prepare your kids for a wonderful "pet-venture":
Keep Them Informed And Excited
Since having pets affect every family member, children wouldn't be caught unawares if you expose them to the possibilities of having a pet. Keeping them informed will make them feel loved and involved. Since kids want to imitate adults, they will feel grown up with the responsibility of taking care of a pet.
Decide Which Pet Is Best For Your Kids
There’s a lot of considerations in choosing the right pet. Health conditions, such as allergies, must be taken seriously if you want your kids to be prepared. Also, you have to match the pet with your kids’ inclination and temperament. In this way, your children won’t have a hard time adjusting to the presence of a pet. Check out these great tips on how to keep your children and pets safe.
To know more about which pet would be best, you may start reading studies on the psychology of having a pet or consult a veterinarian.
According to a review by Dr. Karen Gill on Healthline, the following are the best pets for children: fish, reptiles, birds, rodents, cats, dogs, insects and arthropods, and brine shrimp. Each of these pets has different needs, and therefore, requires a different level of attention.
Take into account your kid’s personality and how much commitment they can give. If your kids have ample time aside from schoolwork, you can go for high-maintenance pets such as cats and dogs. If not, you may want to consider brine shrimps which need to be fed only once a week.
Create A Fun To-Do List Of What Your Pet Needs
No matter how human-like pets can be, still, they have needs you can't probably relate to. Take your ‘pet-venture’ as a great time for kids to learn what your pet needs. Cats, for example, prefer meat so, it would be best not to feed them vegetables. Also, chocolates may be edible for humans but not for dogs.
Who knows, this might even be the start of your kids' interest in medicine, biology, and other sciences. Moreover, you can make this a family adventure to shop for food, litter boxes, cute collars, and anything else that’s according to your list.
Additionally, you have to consider if your family’s lifestyle and home location are appropriate for the pet you want. Remember, having a pet is also a continuous financial dedication, as well as an investment of your time.
Think about the area where you live. If you're in the suburb, then, it will be more appropriate to raise a dog. Or if you live in an apartment, a cat won’t take up much space. You can make a do-it-yourself pet corner or renovate part of your home to welcome a new family member. Remember, you can create a safe place for your pet.
It takes a huge heart to raise a pet. Remember that in doing so, you're teaching your kids responsibility which is an important lesson in life. To get your kids ready, get them involved in the process. Infect them with your excitement. When you do these things, you will see your kids accepting the responsibility beautifully.