Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Is Your Child Badgering You For A Pet? Here Are Some Things To Think About

The purchase of a new puppy or kitten for a holiday or birthday may be at the top of some children's wish lists, but experts advise that parents do their homework before agreeing to the purchase.

According to research, one in every six parents would consider giving their child a pet as a birthday or Christmas present. While 42 percent of respondents say they will not accept animals as gifts, another 40 percent indicate they would be open to the idea.

It can be tempting for parents to get caught up in the moment and agree to a new pet, but they need to think about all of the lifestyle changes involved first.

A pet can be a fantastic part of childhood, teach valuable life skills, and provide families with a great deal of joy and companionship.  However, parents must carefully consider their options to ensure that adopting a new pet is the best choice for their household.

Before visiting a shelter or purchasing a pet, we recommend that parents consider the answers to the following questions. 

Image via Unsplash

Is it a genuine interest?

In most cases, if the first time you heard your child express an interest in a snake was when Santa asked them what they wanted for Christmas, the desire was probably only temporary. In the event that a toddler or child under the age of four develops an interest in a pet, it is a good idea you wait and see if the enthusiasm persists over time. 

It is fairly normal for children to develop an unexpected desire for a pet after seeing one in a book or a movie. You want to make sure they exhibit consistent attention, especially in young children. For young children in particular, it could just be a phase that could be placated with a perfect petzzz toy. If an older child has been talking about getting a pet for more than a few weeks, you may want to take the notion more seriously.

How much practical involvement do you expect?

If parents anticipate that their child will be responsible for some of the new pet chores, they should communicate this expectation to their child in advance. However, they should have realistic expectations based on their child's age and maturity.  Toddlers can help to fill water and food bowls and pick up toys. Older children can help with walks.

The adherence of a youngster to other everyday duties should also be taken into consideration. Do they, for example, wash their teeth twice a day without being reminded of the need to do so? If it is their responsibility to set the table for supper, do they do so on a consistent basis – and if not, is a mild reminder sufficient to motivate them to do so? If you are constantly fighting with your child to get them to do a chore, it is likely that the battle will be similar when you are trying to get them to walk the dog in the rain or when they are in the middle of playing. 

What is the right pet for you?

When picking a pet, there are a few factors to consider: How long will your pet be left alone on a regular basis? Do you find yourself traveling a lot? What kind of impact will this animal have on your living environment?

Keeping a goldfish, which needs to be fed every few days and have its water changed on a regular basis, is an excellent pet to start off with.   Guinea pigs and birds, which require more daily attention, are more in the middle of the road in terms of upkeep, but cats and dogs require a greater level of dedication.

When it comes to dogs, families should do their homework on the breeds and temperaments available. For example, a golden retriever is known to be more calm and friendly, although smaller breeds may be more prone to biting than larger dogs. Certain canines may also be able to provide respite for worried children or assist hyperactive children in releasing some of their excess energy.

All families need to do is be truthful with themselves and ask themselves, 'How much space do we have in our home?' How motivated are we right now? Can we make a commitment to caring for this animal for many years to come? 'What are the advantages for our family? Most families can find a good fit for their home if they do their research,.

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