Whether their friends already have one, or they’ve spent a long time asking for one, at some point or another, your child will want their own pet.
However, as you’re probably already well aware, taking on a pet is a huge responsibility. Another overlooked issue, is of course the expense. Between food, vet bills and toys, you may have to also consider if getting a pet will impact your bottom line.
In the Annetoon episode “The Stray” Anne temporarily adopts a dog and comes to realize it’s a lot more work than she first thought. Here are some things to consider before you get a pet for your child.
When to Get a Pet
Though some people have a dog or cat in their house before their child is even born, many believe the best time to get a child a pet is 6 years old and up. There is a lot of responsibility involved in caring for a pet, including feeding, cleaning, and training a pet.
If you don’t want to get stuck doing all of the work to take care of your family pet, you’re better off waiting until your child is old enough to help.
What Type of Pet?
Though dogs and/or cats are generally the more common pets, there are other options out there. Choosing a pet involves many considerations including allergies. There is also your living space to consider.
Dogs need more outdoor space, so often apartments are not an ideal living situation for them. However, a cat would work just fine. Noise is something else to consider, so having a pet as a bird for example, might not work. It may be best to opt for some low maintenance pet options, including goldfish, and guinea pigs.
Learning How to Live with a Pet
Deciding to get a pet is a big decision but the adjustment isn’t done for your family. In addition to having another mouth to feed, pets need to be handled safely.Teach your kids how to read an animal’s body language so they can learn when to play and approach and when not to. Teach them also to be gentle.
If you follow these considerations, and tips, that’s when the fun part comes, and you and your child can build and cherish a bond with your pet that lasts a lifetime.
Watch how Anne learns to be responsible with a dog in Anne: The Animated Series on DVD which comes with a FREE animated tote bag!
Watch this kids talk from the episode “The Stray,” when Anne temporarily adopts a stray dog.