What to Consider When Getting Your Child a Pet
Having a pet can be very beneficial for children, as pets can give children comfort whenever they’re dealing with stressful situations. Pets can also be a way for children to develop their skills at handling responsibility. If you’re looking for the ideal first pet for your child, then there are a few things you should know before bringing any animals home.
Your Child’s Readiness
According to Romper, knowing whether your child is ready for a pet is a little more complicated than their age. Children tend to be compassionate in general, but there are some children who show an increased affinity for animals at a young age. If your child shows tenderness with every ant and butterfly, then that could be a good sign. On the other hand, if your child is too rough, then getting them a pet might be too much for them at this time. Bear in mind, though, that even with a responsible child, most of the responsibilities will still fall on you. While you’re checking on your child’s readiness, take the time to gauge yours as well.
Taking Care of Their Needs
Pets can have varying needs that can make them either low or high maintenance. In the realm of low maintenance, you can find budgie birds who can eat the same vegetables as us. Adorable rodents like mice, guinea pigs, and hamsters also make the list. They usually need a bit more attention than birds or fish so your child will need to be up for that. Pets like ferrets, geckos, and parrots may surprise you with how much effort it takes to maintain them. This could be owing to space needs or special environment demands. Contrary to what you might think, cats and dogs can be high maintenance because they need a lot of attention. They also need to be trained when it comes to dealing with their waste and avoiding damage to your furniture.
The Right Accommodations
For cats and dogs, special accommodations are usually optional. Other pets will need a place to call their own, and according to Kuddly, choosing the right habitat entails ensuring they are the right size. For example, a good bird cage will not only have space for your bird to spread its wings, but it might also have extra height for them to enjoy a nice climb. Even though rabbits and hamsters are small, it doesn’t mean you can buy small cages. Their enclosures need to be spacious and made of specific materials. Bear in mind that any habitat you set up will need to be cleaned regularly, and this responsibility will fall on you or your child. Cleaning schedules may vary, so do some research. For example, a hamster’s cage should be cleaned weekly.
Meeting Exercise Needs
Generally, pets need exercise and how much will depend on the animal. Cats and dogs usually need about 30 minutes of exercise per day but it can be more when they’re younger. Don’t forget to get a decent leash or harness so your cat or dog can be safe when out and about. A good flea and tick collar will also serve well to protect your pet from biting insects that can carry dangerous diseases. When you’re looking for collars, make sure to do your research for those that are durable and water-resistant. And if you’re a cat owner who wants to allow your favorite feline to roam a little outside, consider investing in an outdoor cat house. These little shelters give your cat a place to hide out when they’re relaxing in the sun, and they can protect them from the elements if the weather turns bad. However, make sure you find one that’s safe for your pet and provides ample protection from rain, wind, and snow.
Choosing a pet for your child can be a tricky task if they’ve never taken care of one before. If you put all the information from this article into consideration, though, it can be your decision about what pet to get that much easier. Just make sure you’re up to it, too!
Photo via Pixabay