Children and Pets: Are yours ready? – Pet Nanny
Soft cuddly playful fluffiness is something most children find impossible to resist! It’s likely that if you have a child it won’t be much longer than they can talk before they are asking for a pet. But are they ready? There is a lot of responsibility in caring for another living creature and it’s not a decision that should be made on a whim. Here are some factors to take into consideration before you give in:
Should Your Child or Children Get A Pet?
- How old is your child? – Age is a big consideration. Children younger than five tend to have a harder time with pets. While pets can be a great way to teach compassion and empathy, very young children can struggle with respecting a pets space and understanding how to handle one. Getting your child a pet too young can lead to either your child getting hurt or the pet. Stick to stuffed animals until they are a little older!
- Start small and assess the child’s growth – Pets are also a great way to teach responsibility. Be sure to take it slow. Start your child off with a fish, hermit crabs, or other creature that requires minimal work. If you observe your child maintaining consistent responsibility with feeding, cleaning, and general care, they might be getting ready for a bigger pet!
- Make sure your child understands commitment – The lifespan of a conventional pet (such as a cat or dog) can match your child’s time in your home. It’s very possible that a pet they get when they are five can still be with them when they are eighteen. You and your child should be prepared for a long-term commitment.
- Are you ready? – While the pet may belong to your child it doesn’t mean that you are free from responsibility for it. The most mature child is still just a child and it’s up to you to make sure that the animal is being properly cared for and to take over duties when your child is sick or busy.
Don’t let holidays or pet shop windows tempt you into an impulse buy! Living creatures deserve your full consideration and they will be dependent on you for the rest of their lives. See more important tips and things to consider here.