So your child wants a pet and you’re wondering whether this is a good idea, well friends you are not alone! According to a recent survey conducted by marketing research company OnePoll, 74 percent of American school-aged children have asked their parents for a pet around 11 times per month starting at age 6. If you’re wondering what the most coveted pet is, nearly 8 out of 10 children in the survey begged for a dog.
Perhaps your little one wants a pet and has been pleading for a pet puppy for some time now, and you’re thinking of finally giving in to their request. After all, having a pet can provide your child with essential life lessons that they may not learn anywhere else. But before you get too excited and start browsing online for PrideBites wholesale dog beds, collars, pet bowls, and other products for your child’s dream pet, you may want to reevaluate whether you’re making the right decision.
If you still have doubts, read on. This article will discuss several signs to look out for to determine if it’s the right time for your kid—and your family—to start caring for a pet.
Your Child Shows Genuine Interest in Caring for a Pet
Is your child really interested in caring for a pet? This question may seem irrelevant, especially if your little one has been begging you for months to give them a furry friend, but it’s something worth pondering. Why? Well, perhaps your kid is merely fantasizing about having a pet because their friends have one. Or maybe they see cute animals interacting with children on television or social media, and they want to have the same fun experience.
To be sure that your child is genuinely interested in caring for a pet and not merely in love with the idea of having one, you may want to offer to dog-sit for a family friend or foster a dog for a week or two. By doing so, you can see how your child will act and behave around an actual pup. This also gives your little one the chance to learn the realities of pet ownership, and that it’s not all fun and games. If your child still desires a pet after that brief experience, then they’re most likely ready for a long-term commitment.
Your Child Is Responsible Around the House
Caring for a pet is a huge responsibility, so you should ensure that your child is up to the challenge before you even consider allowing them to be a pet owner. To gauge if they’re reliable enough to have their very own pet, try observing how they handle their household tasks.
Can you depend on them to complete their chores on their own? Do they need constant reminders to carry out their duties? If they do their tasks independently, even without prodding and nagging, they’re probably mature enough to handle the responsibilities of pet ownership.
But to be extra sure, you may want to add a couple more assignments on their plate to see if they’ll do well with having to juggle a lot of tasks. If they start complaining or failing to carry out all their chores around the house, you may want to wait a few more years. Otherwise, should you actually give them a pet, you may end up doing all the feeding, walking, cleaning, and other pet care tasks instead.
Your Child Is Kind to Animals
Another sign you need to look out for if your child wants a pet is your child’s treatment of animals. Do they show empathy towards animals when they encounter them, or do they toy with animals in a way that could be harmful? Animals are living beings with needs and feelings, after all. They aren’t toys that your kids can ride, manipulate, or abandon at any time.
If you think that your child has the impression that pets are meant solely to do everything they please, they may not be ready to care for one just yet.
Your Family Is Equipped to Handle the Responsibility
Besides ensuring that your child is ready to handle the responsibility of pet ownership, you should also take an honest look at your household situation to know whether your family is prepared to welcome a pet into your home.
Do you have enough space at home to accommodate a pet? Remember that animals like dogs need sufficient space to move around, lie down, and sit comfortably. And because dogs also need tons of exercise to stay healthy, they cannot remain cooped up at home all the time.
If your household can’t fulfill these basic requirements, you should postpone getting a pet until your family is truly ready for one.
Having a pet will undoubtedly benefit your child in many ways, but caring for another living being entails immense responsibility. As such, if your child wants a pet you need to carefully evaluate whether your child (and the entire family) can handle the commitment before you bring a dog or other animal into your home. Take your time, weigh the pros and cons, and remember to ponder the discussion above. By doing so, you’ll be sure to make a more informed decision about whether or not it’s time to add a furred family member to your household.