Family Pet ? Is Your Family Ready?
It is time to introduce a family pet into the home? Pets can be a wonderful addition to any family. Pets can help children learn responsibility, and they instill a compassion in them to care and love other species. But when is the right time to get a family pet? And what signs tell you that it is that time?
Your children are comfortable around animals
Whether you introduce your children to pets of friends or take them to dog parks. Or visit an animal shelter, your children need to be comfortable around animals before you bring them into the home. Lead by example, and show your children how to interact with pets. When they are comfortable they will ask to pet the animal, or hold it. Just do not force your children to be ready for pets.
Your children do chores and can handle tasks
Unless you are prepared to raise a dog or cat too, make sure your children have household responsibilities and can help you take care of your pet. It is a teachable moment for them if they are ready. Even personal hygiene such as children brushing their teeth without needing reminding can be a sign your children are ready to help care for a pet.
Everyone is onboard
Your children and any other household member should be onboard before you bring a pet into the home. After all, a fur baby is still a baby and a huge responsibility. The pet should not have to suffer any conflict in the home as to whether or not it is welcome.
You children understand it is a family pet. This is not their cat, dog or parakeet. The pet must suit the entire family. And while responsibilities will be shared, it is important that your children understand that introducing a pet into the household is introducing another member to the family unit.
The Adults Involved Are Ready
When all adults involved are ready, they knowingly go into taking the full brunt of the responsibility. Because it is possible the children may or may not be able to handle their allotted share. And ultimately the adults will have to manage what needs to be done.
You have successfully fostered or cared for a pet as a family.
A trial run, whether it be dog walking, volunteering, sitting and caring for a pet for a few days and in their environment will help you gauge whether or not your children are truly ready to take on a pet of their own. And full time.
Pets are the most wonderful companions when the timing is right. Take extra care in knowing when the family is ready to make a loving home for a sweet pet in need. And don’t forget to Adopt don’t shop.