Are Your Kids REALLY Ready for a Pet?

Are you toying around with the idea of adding a furry baby to your family? Has the constant begging and pleading from your children started to weigh on you? Their pleas, promises, good behavior, and puppy dog eyes are beginning to wear you down. There’s just one thing that’s keeping you from heading to the nearest animal shelter or pet store. Taking care of a pet comes with a lot of responsibility, and you’re not sure they’re up for the task. 

Not wanting to let them down but also not wanting to take on more than you can bear, you realize you have some thinking to do. You want to make the right decision, but how do you know if they’re ready to handle it? While there’s a lot to consider, here are a few indicators that a pet is a right choice.

You’ve Done Your Research

If you’ve never owned a pet before, chances are you have no idea what it takes to care for them. Before assessing your childrens’ readiness for a new addition to the family, do some research. For instance, if you plan on getting a kitten, how much will it cost you to pay for silica cat liter, canned and dry food, bowls, toys, and other associated supplies to care for the furry feline. Beyond cost, you’ll want to know how often they need to visit the vet, when they need shots, and a general idea of what taking care of a cat every day is like.

After doing your research, if you can afford the associated costs with caring for a cat and you have the time in your schedule to provide the love and care your furry feline would need, then you guys are ready for a pet. 

They Behave Well Around Animals

How do your children behave around animals? Do they run in fear every time they see a dog? Are they aggressive with the neighbor’s cat? If so, chances are they’re not ready. It is crucial for your children to understand that animals are not toys, punching bags, or a means of transportation. 

Like humans, animals have feelings and a desire to be respected. Signs that your children understand this concept is in their behavior. If they’re gentle, loving and respectful of the animal’s space, chances are they’re ready for a pet. 

They Take Care of Responsibilities

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with taking care of a pet. From making sure they eat to grooming or taking them for walks, animals require a lot of TLC to remain happy and healthy. Even if you plan on sharing the load with your kids, ensuring that they’re prepared to pitch in is essential. 

How do you know if your kids can take care of responsibilities? Consider their daily tasks and chores. For example, does your child brush their teeth, take out the trash, or clean their room without being asked? If you have to micromanage, fight, or continuously remind your kids of basic tasks, adding the responsibilities of caring for a pet may be too much for them to handle right now. 

They Have No Problem Sharing 

While you may be wondering what sharing has to do with owning a pet, it is important to remember that having a pet is very similar to bringing home a new baby. You will have to divide your time, attention, and resources, to making sure the pet is properly cared for. If your kids aren’t the best at sharing, this could pose a problem. On the other hand, if they have no problem sharing toys, playing with other children, or splitting mom and dad’s attention, then they’re ready for a pet. 

A pet can be a great addition to a family. It can teach your kids how to be compassionate, caring, and responsible. Not to mention, a pet can help to improve your health and your overall quality of life. The only way this works, however, is if everyone in your family is on board. If you’ve done your research and feel you’re ready and your children have displayed the signs above, the next step is shopping for the perfect animal for your family to love. 

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