When, Why and How: Getting Your Children Their First Pet
Adopting a Pet – Adopt Don’t Shop
Adopting a pet, and introducing it to your children, can be an exciting experience. But, before you begin the process, there are several things you need to understand, and responsibilities you may not have thought about. However, once you understand the process, introducing your pet to your child, and community, will be an enriching experience.
Reasons to Adopt – Not Shop
While you can get a pet from almost anywhere, there many reasons to adopt a pet. First, many pets are euthanized because shelters cannot hold every one that comes in. So, adopting a pet saves a life, and allows the shelter to bring in more. It’s also cheaper because the cost of spaying, neutering, and microchipping is often included in the price. Lastly, it fights puppy mills that focus more on profit. Adopting a pet from a shelter will ensure that their welfare has been cared for, and they will be in good condition.
Keep An Open Mind About All Breeds
While pet adoption can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming. But, start with an open mind. While certain breeds are known to have particular personalities, every dog is different. Don’t assume that any individual dog will act a certain way just because of its breed. Just like humans, every one acts differently.
Caring For Your Pet
However, while keeping an open mind is important, you also want to consider safety issues, for your child. Your community may also have certain rules about breeds. Check the guidelines first. After you understand them, ask yourself certain questions. For example, some breeds need more care than others. Consider how much you will be able to give, and use that as one of your deciding factors.
Think About Allergies
Do you or your children have pet allergies? Knowing this will make your decision clearer. After all, you don’t want to adopt a pet only to find out that one of your kids is suddenly sneezing or coughing. Talk with the pet adoption center. There are hypoallergenic dogs that are just as fun loving as other breeds. You and your children will be able to welcome them to the family without worrying about the side effects.
Responsibilities For Introducing Your Pet
Once you decide on adopting a new pet, you need to think about certain responsibilities. First, as you may expect, never leave your child alone with the new pet until you know it’s safe. They are just meeting, and learning from, each other. Therefore, make sure you are around in case anything goes wrong. Second, put your pet’s food and water in a secluded setting away from your young kids. Just like humans, they don’t want to be disturbed while eating. Thus, making sure your pet can eat in peace is imperative to their well being. They can play with the children later.
Benefits Of Having A Pet
While having a pet can be fun and exciting, there are also certain benefits everyone will experience, as well. For example, your pet will teach your children empathy. Your kids will learn what it’s like to understand each other’s feelings. They will also learn more responsibilities as they start taking care of their dog. Lastly, as your pet gets older, your children will learn valuable life lessons as pets will need care at home or from a vet. They will understand why taking care of a pet’s health is so important, and the knowledge could help them learn the importance of taking care of themselves.
While looking for a pet, it is also important to understand that smaller dogs need different things than their bigger counterparts. They don’t need big yards, and are comfortable around people who are not as active as others. These breeds are easier to handle, and are also great companions. So, adopting a smaller dog is a great choice.
The process of adopting a pet can be a fun one for all involved. While certain factors, and responsibilities, will naturally factor into the decision, the experience will be good for you and your family. Showing the new addition to your friends and family in the community will also help your new pet learn about the neighborhood, and you will all reap the benefits of your new four-legged friend.
About the Author
Sloan McKinney is a journalist based in Southern California. After writing about pop culture for a number of years, she has recently begun writing for a new audience. Inspired by DeAnthony, her cat, as well as her dog Max, Sloan now hopes to help other pet owners guarantee their animal companions happy and healthy lives.