If you’re reading this, it’s probably because your kid has recently been badgering you for a pet. As parents, we want to give our kids what they want, if it benefits them, and a pet is a reasonable request. After all, countless studies have shown that pet ownership is beneficial to children.
As responsible adults, though, we know that pet ownership is a huge undertaking. Although you may want to give in to your child’s request, the responsibility to make the right decision lies on you as the parent.
To help you make a decision, here are some things to consider before getting a family pet:
Your family’s health
One of the reasons a pet may not be best for you is because of a family member’s health condition.
Common house pets like cats and dogs are furry, which makes them easy to cuddle but it also means that they shed fur.
These fine pieces of hair can trigger a family member’s asthma or allergies, which is why it is essential to, among other things, vacuum the home and keep your carpet clean when you have pets.
Fortunately, your family can still have pets, as long as you’re smart about choosing which pet to have.
For example, there are several breeds of hypoallergenic dogs that shed so little fur, so they’re not an asthma or allergy risk. In addition, carpet cleaning services are easily accessible so you can keep your carpets free of fur, ticks, and dander.
Can you commit?
Pets require a lot of time, effort and responsibility.
These are things that you or your child may not have enough of. Dogs, for example, need to be walked a couple of times a day. They need a lot of attention. Some breeds even require special care and diet.
Pets can cost you in ways other than money. If you or your child are always busy and cannot give your pet the attention they deserve, they might develop behavioral problems or you may not notice when they’re ill.
Is your home pet-friendly?
Did you know that something as innocuous as chewing gum can be deadly for your dogs?
You may even have azaleas, daffodils, or foxgloves in your garden—plants that are poisonous to dogs when ingested.
There is also a range of things that are harmful to cats, from common food items and medication to varieties of houseplants. If you’re leaving hazards like these around your property, your home may not be ready for pets.
Fortunately, tidying up is easy and proper knowledge about poisonous plants can help you avoid them.
Looking for a veterinarian
A veterinarian is the first person you should approach when your pet is sick. Apart from treating animals’ different illnesses and health problems, vets are also excellent sources of information to help your family make good decisions concerning your pets.
However, not all vets are the same; you need one who best suits your requirements, as well as the needs of your pet. A solid relationship between the family, the pet and the vet is essential.
You need to be able to feel comfortable entrusting the care of your pet into a veterinarian’s hands. So, do your research when looking for an animal doctor. Look up online reviews or see what other pet-owning friends have to say.
Caring for a pet is a great way to bring the family together.
Whether it’s something as small as a goldfish or as massive as a Great Dane, each member of the family will need to pitch in and take care of the pet. That is why it’s important to consider the things stated above to ensure that your family can practice responsible pet ownership.