Having pets at home can be beneficial as these furry friends can help regulate your blood pressure, decrease feelings of loneliness, and encourage you to exercise and engage in other outdoor activities. It’s common knowledge that pets can improve a person’s quality of life, but do you know that these furry friends can also do more for your kids?
Family pets can teach your kids valuable life lessons, such as responsibility, respect, patience, and compassion. According to studies, pets can also help your kids socialize with their peers and improve their verbal skills. However, looking after a pet requires responsibility and commitment, which is why you shouldn’t get one unless your kids are ready. Adopting a pet without considering the capability of your kids can cause stress to the entire family. You need to think about a variety of things, including sourcing the best dog food or cat food, proper grooming, getting your pet insured, as well as regular vet visits.
If you’re still undecided whether you should allow your kids to have pets, look for signs first. Ticking off any of the signs listed below means that your kids are ready to have pets:
- Your Kids Understand The Need To Respect Animals
Aside from making sure that pets are provided with the right supplements, like those from Pethonesty, pets also demand love and attention from their owners. Regardless of how unpredictable they are at times, pets should never be hit or tugged, and, most importantly, abandoned.
One way to determine if your kids are ready for pets is to assess their ability to respect animals. Are your kids disciplined enough to leave pets alone when they are eating? Do your kids know how to gently touch and play with pets? Can your kids treat a pet as if they’re a member of the family? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then, no doubt, your kids are ready for pets.
- Your Kids Are Comfortable When There Are Animals Around
Contrary to popular belief, having pets at home will not cure your kids’ fear of animals. Adopting pets when your kids fear them will only take a toll on their mental health, and can even become the reason why their fears will heighten. The same is especially true if parents would force their kids to interact with or touch animals.
For you to assess if your kids are ready to have pets, check if they are afraid of animals. If they’re not, then, you can easily introduce the idea of having a family pet. However, if your kids are scared of animals, start by letting them visit your local animal shelter and set an example on how they should interact with animals. Over time, this can help them feel more comfortable being around any animals and erase any misconceptions they might have about pets.
- Your Kids Can Handle Household Chores
As mentioned, pet owners will have a lot of things on their plate. Generally, pet owners have to be ready to pay the hidden costs of this responsibility, which usually include feeding their pets, ensuring that they get some exercise regularly, and accompanying them to their vets. Pet owners are required to do more if they are looking after a young or senior pet.
Being a pet owner is not a walk in the park, which is why you should check first if your kids can handle their household tasks on their own. If they can set the table and unload the dishwasher without help from other people, then, they’re ready to have pets. Being a pet owner requires responsibility, and if your kids already possess this trait, you’re assured that they can also take care of a pet on their own.
- Your Kids Are Committed To The Idea Of Getting A Pet
Being a pet owner is not a short-time stint. When you decide to have one, expect that you will have to exert time and effort in looking after their health and wellness for years. This means that you should continually allocate resources in buying their food and paying for their medicines. As a pet owner, you will also be responsible for taking care of your pet when they get sick or undergo surgeries.
Your kids are ready to have pets if they understand that their responsibility as a pet owner lasts for years. Your kids should be committed to looking after their pets regardless of how tiring this responsibility can get.
- Your Kids Have A Lot Of Energy
Pets, especially the young ones, are generally very energetic. When you decide to adopt a puppy, for example, expect that this animal will demand your physical abilities because they would love to play and run around. Pets have a lot of energy, so it’s important to check if your kids are ready to match their energy levels.
The interest of your kids to engage in physical activities can also determine their readiness to have pets. Ideally, your kids should be willing to run around, go to the park, and play outside with their pets. Engaging in regular exercise is a must to ensure that the pet stays healthy and happy, especially if they are still growing.
- Your Kids Were Involved In A Successful Trial Run
According to statistics, over seven million cats and dogs enter local shelters every year. This means that more people are actually leaving their pets in shelters instead of taking them in their homes. Make sure that your kids don’t contribute to the increase of abandoned pets by letting them experience a trial run first. This process involves taking in a pet from a shelter for a couple of weeks or months inside your home and allowing your kids to look after them.
A trial run serves as a testing phase for your kids, making it very easy for you to assess if they are ready to become pet owners. During this time, you can check if your kids are genuinely committed to accomplishing the responsibilities of a pet owner without compromising their household chores at home or their ability to take care of themselves.
Now that you know that your kids are ready for pets, work on looking for the best type of pets for them. Different pets have different characteristics, so it’s important that you foster one that suits your kids’ ages and capabilities.