Your kids have been badgering you for a pet for what seems like years, and you’re starting to wonder if now might be the right time to add a furry friend to your family.
Perhaps you’ve spoken to friends who’ve got pets for their kids and say it’s the best choice they’ve ever made? Or maybe you’ve done some research and read up about how beneficial having a pet is for your child’s mental health?
Adding a pet to your family can be an amazing thing to do, but before you take the leap it’s important to make sure that you’re fully aware of what’s involved when you become a pet parent, from the associated costs to the amount of care different pets require.
Before you say yes to adding a pet to your family, here are some key factors that it’s important to consider.
Can you financially support a pet?
The first (and most important) factor to consider is the cost that’s associated with having a pet. There’s not just the initial cost of buying the pet and everything it needs, from bedding and toys to food and pet bowls, there’s also all of the ongoing costs that come with owning a pet.
When you buy a pet you agree to look after that animal for as long as it’s alive, which means making an ongoing investment to keep them healthy and alive. There’s daily costs like food to consider, monthly costs like new toys and pet insurance to pay for, and then there’s also annual costs like vet care and vaccinations to cover, as well as any unexpected costs, like a hefty vet bill due to an accident or illness.
It’s important to be honest with yourself in terms of whether you’re in a position to cover all of these costs. If you are, that’s great, but if not, it might be time to rethink adding a pet to your family.
Will your child actually take responsibility for said pet?
The next thing to think about is whether your child will actually take responsibility for their pet. They might promise that they will but do you actually think they’re mature enough to manage the entireties of pet ownership? If they’re not, you have to consider if you’re happy to help out and be an active part of the pet’s care.
For gaining a better insight into what being a pet parent involves, resources like Freshpet can be extremely helpful. So, it’s worth taking the time to do your research and do lots of reading, so that you’re able to gain a better insight into what the ins and outs of pet ownership can look like.
Can you offer all of the necessary time needed by a pet?
The amount of time a pet takes up will depend on what the pet is, so it’s worth taking the time to think about the kind of pet you would be keen to take on, and then working out how much time each day it would require in terms of care.
Dogs are the pets that require the most time, care and attention, so if time is limited then perhaps a cat or a caged pet could be a better option for you and your children? The key is to work out how much time you have and what pet you would have the time to properly care for during that time.
There you have it, a guide to some of the key things that it’s smart to consider before adding a pet to your family.