There comes a time in every parent’s life where they hear the words “Can we get a pet?” come out of the mouths of their children. Most parents automatically answer with “no” or “not right now”, but that doesn’t stop them spending days wondering whether or not it is actually a good idea. Pets can make great companions and wonderful additions to your family, but they are also a huge responsibility and an expensive one at that. If you’re considering buying a pet for your children, it’s vital that you know what you’re getting into. Here are seven things you need to do before bringing a pet home.
Consider The Costs
Adopting a pet, regardless of the species, is an expensive process in itself, but you also need to consider the ongoing costs of being a pet parent. You are going to need to spend money on toys, bedding, food, vet bills, pet insurance, grooming, and so much more. Of course, some pets, like reptiles, cost more than others, so this is something else you’ll need to take into account, but all animals are costly. Unless you can afford to care for a pet properly, you shouldn’t get one.
Look At Your Lifestyle
You may be buying a pet to please your children, but don’t think for one second that they’ll be doing all of the work. Although your kids should take responsibility and ensure that their animal is fed, watered, and clean, you will still be the sole caregiver. You should also consider whether or not your living situation is suitable for whatever pet you had in mind.
Speak To Your Children
Your children may say they want a pet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re mature or responsible enough to have one. Before you make any promises, you need to figure out whether or not you’re making the right decision. To do this, you should speak to your kids and make sure that they’re truly committed to the idea of having an animal around the house. You should also watch them with other people’s pets to make sure that they’re comfortable and respectful.
Do Plenty Of Research
Once you’ve decided that a pet is the right decision, you need to do a lot of research. For example, did you know that raised beds are a much better option for dogs than ones on the floor? Thankfully, if this is something you didn’t know, you can find out more bed info here. Don’t go into the pet buying experience blind, as it will only cause unnecessary stress for the entire family.
Choose The Animal Carefully
After you’ve done some real research, you’re going to have to decide which pet is best for your family. Some animals can be dangerous for smaller children, so you need to consider your kids’ ages, maturity levels, and the species themselves before making a decision. You may want to start with a low maintenance pet, like a hamster, gerbil, or mouse, as they’re pretty easy to take care of, don’t cost very much, and are cute and fluffy, which should please your little ones.
Create a Schedule
Now that you’ve chosen your pet and have done all of the research you need to, you should know exactly what you need to do to take care of it. This includes when it should be fed and how much, when it needs to be cleaned, and when it can be played with. With this information, you should create a schedule for your children. This way, they know what they need to do, when they need to do it, and what you’re going to help them with so that their pet is well looked after.
Prepare Your Home
Before you bring your new pet home, you need to ensure that your house is safe and comfortable for them. If you’ve settled for a small animal that lives in a cage, this simply means preparing their cage and making sure that you have enough food, toys, and other supplies. However, if you’ve gone for a larger animal, like a dog or cat, you’ll need to do some work to make sure that your home is pet-friendly and that there’s nowhere they could get hurt.
Photo Credit: Mojitos and Munchkins