My kid wants a dog, should I get him one?! I do not have children myself, but I hear the debates on this topic quite often. A dog is a very big responsibility. The decision to bring home a pet is a big one that you should not take lightly. So, how do you properly go about choosing a pet for your child?
No doubt, bringing a pet home for your child can be a super exciting experience for them. I remember when I got my first pet. A rabbit. It not only helps kids learn responsibility and care but helps them form a bond with a furry little friend.
This can help them mature, and often it’s the first real responsibility a parent will allow their child to keep and learn. However, you have to make sure you make the right decision regarding what pet to get. For example, despite your daughters wish to bring home a pterodactyl, that might be a little bit out of the question.
Choosing a Pet for Your Child
Does Your Child Oogle Over Animals?
When in the pet store, it can be appropriate to see just how your child responds to certain animals. There might be one that they positively love. It might be a hamster here or a rabbit there. It’s pretty important to ensure they feel passion for this pet in the first instance. It might be they love how they are behaving, or a fur pattern they have, or that the stars seemingly aligned when they saw them.
We’ve all had this natural reaction to seeing a pet for the first time, so it’s not hard to imagine. It’s important for a child to feel like this because if they don’t, they might have a harder time wanting to look after it. This might sound harsh and like your child might not be responsible.
But it’s just simple emotional logic that a child should completely love their pet as they take care of them. You also wouldn’t want to buy a full cage, play frame, good food and plenty of other things if it wasn’t for the positive bond between your child and animal. That would defeat the point.
Can Your Child Understand The Responsibility?
It might be that these tips for your pet store experience will help. Go in with a pet store “game plan”. This will help you know exactly what to expect. Ask the right questions regarding a certain pet or the services you have on offer. Write down a list of all the question you need to know beforehand. In the heat of the moment, it is likely you will forget something.
She might be able to rattle off all the benefits of a dog. But does your child also know the responsibilities regarding the pet they hope to bring home? It’s unlikely that your eight-year-old daughter would be able to correctly care for a dog. Without the right training on how to care for them.
Teaching your child to groom their coat, worm the pet, cut their nails and many other responsibilities. It would be unethical and inhumane to give that much responsibility to your child without proper instruction and help. However, a small animal such as a gerbil, rabbit, or hamster could work better. These animals tend to be a little lower maintenance.
Go through the list of responsibilities with your pet store clerk and child. Ensure they understand what it will take for them to look after them. Of course, you will always provide a guiding eye and ensure that the pet will be looked after well regardless, but without ensuring your child does also, you may have well simply purchased a family pet for you to look after.
Does The Potential Pet Hold The Right Traits?
It’s important to ask yourself ‘does this pet have the right traits to stay suitable for my child?’ There are many things that you should take into account. Obedience is going to be a large help here. You shouldn’t bring home a pet that cannot be placed as your child wants, or provides some form of safety risk in terms of its ability to harm. For this reason, finding a small animal with gentleness can help even the timidest child interface with them effectively. This is why very small animals can work well.
Also, what are the cleaning requirements of the pet in question? How often should you change their cafe flooring, and ensure that you wipe down all of the equipment? Ideally this should happen at least twice a week, but of course, cleaning out a rabbit hutch fully is more difficult than cleaning a hamster cage. There are no right or wrong answers to this particular question, just your careful analysis of how much time your child is able to spend cleaning. They may beg and say they’re ready, but if you feel the traits of the animal and your child aren’t in sync, it might be worth choosing another.
I hope these simple tips, make choosing the right pet for your child easier. You are the only one who knows your kid well enough to assess the situation. Make sure you think through the whole process… Or be willing to take care of the pet yourself.