Is Your Child Ready For A Pet?
At some point most children fall in love with animals. When children realize they can take them home and see them everyday, they usually start practicing those negotiation skills… At least my children have. They will try to convince you they are responsible and they will help out, but if you have a busy life already, then you may cringe knowing this new responsibility may fall on you. Is your child ready for a pet? How do you prepare your child and yourself for a new addition?
Just yesterday, my daughter approached me and told me how much she would love to have a hamster to care for. She explained she wanted more responsibility, and that taking care of a hamster would be a great place to start. – Begin negotiation.
I didn’t make a rash decision to get her a hamster. My love for animals started at a young age so I expected this day would come. It is not that she has never asked for animals. We have had saltwater and freshwater fish, and have a dog and chinchilla today. I started planning for the day she would have her own pet and the responsibility that goes with that years ago. I worked to instill her with qualities such as compassion, empathy, responsibility, and nurturing.
She already plays a huge role in caring for our dog and chinchilla. She lets the dog in and out, feeds him, gives him treats, and most importantly spends time with him daily. She does the same for our chinchilla, minus the letting him outdoors. 🙂 This alone may not be enough to tell me she is ready, but she definitely has a good foundation and I would suggest that you look for similar qualities in your children when determining if they are ready to have their own pet.
Checklist for pet readiness:
Does your child handle animals correctly? If your child holds an animal with care and is comfortable around animals then this is a great start.
Does your child respect animals? If your child is grabbing animals that are protesting without regard for the animals comfort, then your child may not be ready.
Does your child understand what the responsibility of an animal means? Does your child know how serious it is that the animal gets food, water, exercise, and attention? If your child understands that animals have the very needs we do as humans in order to survive, the child may be ready.
How does your child handle doing chores? Is it like pulling teeth to get your child to pick up after themselves or do they do the chores you set before them? This is a good indicator that your child is ready or not.
Does your child realize that even with the responsibility of a new pet they still have all of their other responsibilities?
Is your child active? Does your child seem interested in playing with the animal or do they just love the idea of having one? Animals of all species needs exercise and an active pet is a healthy pet.
Other things to consider:
Pets die. Consider if your child is prepared for it and the life expectancy of the pet you choose.
Pets can be expensive. Not only do you need to feed it and provide it it’s own space they can have expensive medical costs as well.
Pets can be destructive, messy, or just smelly. Make sure the pet is a good choice for everyone in your home.
Be aware of allergies. Most animals have hypo-allergenic options.
If you travel you will need a plan to care for the animal if you can not take it with you.
If you get a pet that can hurt someone else make sure that you are able to invest the time and have the experience to train the animal properly.
Most pets require certain temperature ranges to be healthy or live. Do your homework first.
If you have other pets understand if they are compatible before making a commitment to a new pet.
If you are ready to proceed and get a new pet, ask yourself one more question.
If your child does not take responsibility and gives the pet inadequate care,
are you able and willing to takeover?
Why I Chose to Get My Daughter A Pet
That being said- we adopted a sweet little hamster today from a friend. This is something that I knew she wanted for a long time and something that I have been prepping her for. I feel she is ready for the responsibility and is fully aware of what is expected of her. If you want your children to have a pet please prepare them for the responsibility of one.
Getting your child a pet has many great benefits if your child is ready. It not only teaches them responsibility it also teaches them compassion and selflessness. After the first day of the new addition I have to share all the preparation was well worth it. Not only is she caring for him she is also looking forward to sharing her experience with her friends. She is incredibly happy with her new pet and spends every moment with him.
Most importantly, love and enjoy these moments.
This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase products through these links I may earn a small commission, it is no extra cost to you and it is means to help support this blog.