We all have that wonderful image of a home filled with kids and pets running around together. Every child wants a pet to play with and be their best friend. But knowing when the right time to get one can be tricky. You don’t want to wait for so long that they lose interest in the idea altogether but getting a pet too soon can mean that your little ones simply aren’t ready for it. There are plenty of factors that decide whether or not your family can handle a pet at all. Here are just a few simple tips to help you figure out if your family is ready to bring in a new member.
Can you afford it?
Pets are expensive. Let’s just rip that band-aid off right now. No matter what kind of pet you get, you’re always going to end up having to spend money on it. Now, most people would say that that’s fine. It’s a fair trade, and a pet is as much of a family member as anyone else. But you need to be sure that getting a pet isn’t going to get you into any kind of financial difficulty. From vets bills to food, to toys, to grooming, animals are expensive, and there’s no way around it. You just don’t want to end up financially crippled because you’ve spent all of your money on dog treats.
Do you have the time to take care of it?
There is a lot that goes into looking after a pet. Especially a family pet like a cat or a dog. You’ve got to make sure that you’re taking them to the vet regularly, especially in the early days. Things like kitten vaccinations are incredibly important when you first adopt them, and if you’re not in a position to be able to take your pet to the vet when it needs it, you might not be ready for one at all. Similarly, animals like dogs need to be exercised and trained regularly and often don’t like being left alone. If you’re spending thirteen hours a day out of the house and then you just want to sleep when you get home, then your pet’s going to end up feeling frustrated and miserable.
Are your kids responsible enough?
As far as your kids are concerned, a pet is a new playmate, best friend, and that’s about it. And when you think about getting a family pet you probably think the same thing. But there’s a lot of work and patience required of having a pet, and you need to be sure that that’s something that your little ones can handle. Do they understand what not to do when it comes to animal behaviour? How to play with them? When to leave them alone? Children can be very smart but even the smartest of them sometimes doesn’t understand what they should be doing in certain situations. You need to make sure that your kids are old enough to be responsible for the pet as well as being it’s playmate.