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Children can be relentless when they find something that interests them. They will nag, beg, and drive you crazy until you either give in or by some blessed miracle, they forget about it. Who knew the joys of parenthood came with a side of head to head standoffs.

 

When they start to warm up to the idea of having a pet, it is best that you have all your bases covered. That way, if you choose to get one, you will know what to expect and what to avoid. Alternatively, if you say no, you will have your list of reasons on cue to talk them down. And never got to a pet store to just hold and play with puppies if your not going to get one. This is a great way to lose the battle.

child playing with puppy

So, here are some things to keep in mind as you consider getting a pet for your child.

What's the Point, Does a child really need a pet?

If you are not a pet lover you may be wondering whether it is really necessary to have one. Sometimes even those who do like pets may be wary of the commitment they require. Still, there are multiple ways your child could benefit from having a pet.

 

For starters, it teaches them to care for what they treasure. A sense of responsibility, you can call it. You may notice that when they get home from school they are keen on feeding their new loved ones and tending to it. This is something that you can encourage to develop responsibility in other areas of life. It is even advisable to have an agreement with your child that getting a pet is incumbent on them caring for it. They also can learn the responsibility's of training them.

 

Further, they could learn other important life lessons such as sharing, empathy, and the transitions of life. The latter is often a major subject when their pet gets sick, old, or suddenly dies. It is an eventuality you would do well to be prepared for. While it may be unfortunate and traumatic for them, you can take the chance to comfort and help them understand such events.

When is the Right Time?

There can be different answers to this question especially depending on the type of pet you intend to get. However, experts recommend waiting until kids are over 5 years of age. The reason behind this is for them to be able to care for it and also due to safety. 

 

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For school-going children, weigh their schedules vis-a-vis the extra chore of having to care for a pet. It may be too much to take on for them which may lead to neglect or them giving up on it altogether. Nonetheless, if you are available to help them with it then you can create a schedule to share caregiving tasks.

Living Arrangements

orange cat in bed

 

Your building's pet policy should probably be the first thing you look into before exploring the subject any further. Hiding a dog from your building manager might be a Herculean task and cats are simply ungovernable. Plus, it would set a poor example if you teach your little one to break the rules. You would be better off waiting until you move to a different place.

 

It could also be that your home is cramped enough as is and there is no room for any other occupants. Fortunately, this can be fixed; you could get an outdoor kennel or place a cat bed on the porch. Other pets like hamsters or goldfish may not require that much room. Nevertheless, it is good to figure out such arrangements before you head out to get the pet.

Maintenance Needs

The amount of care required will cost you both time and money. At the end of the day, you are the adult in the room and your child can only do so much. As such, do some research on what you are getting into (and by this, we do mean finding the best fitting dog name, but also some more serious tasks)

 

  • Feeding needs and routines
  • Cleaning the pet
  • Vaccinations
  • Veterinary clearances for safety
  • The costs involved
  • walking  if you have a dog
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If your schedule is busy or your resources are limited, consider getting a low-maintenance pet to start. It could actually be a good way to introduce your child to pets before getting one that is more demanding. A freshwater aquarium with low-maintenance fish is one of the options you can consider. All you will need is food, some cleaning and sterilization tools, and you are set for the long haul. You can find these supplies on https://www.imountaintree.com/ at great prices alongside some helpful information.

Allergies and Safety

sick little girl in bed

 

You might bring home a dog, cat, or fish then find out that your child reacts adversely to it. What then? The tears involved in having to give it up may be too much to bear but it may be inevitable. Alternatively, you could intercept such a disaster by visiting a friend with a similar pet to see how your child takes to it. 

 

Speaking of adverse reactions, expect some challenges in the beginning. As your little one gets to know their pet, it may not be love at first sight but with some help, they will find their rhythm. That said, keep an eye out for any aggressive behavior from the animal. Do not ignore warning signs especially where younger children are concerned. 

Conclusion

One of the interesting bits of parenthood is watching your offspring's personality morph as they grow. You may get to learn so much about them by watching them interact with their pet. So, as much as it may seem cumbersome, it can be a great adventure to take on with your child. More so now that you have some pointers to