First Pet for Kids: Debunk Myths and a Look at Facts for Parents

Most parents want to give their kids a pet at some point in their life. Depending on their age, this could be for many various reasons. The age of the child has to be taken into consideration before any purchasing and the knowledge and time the parent(s) have to give to the new addition must be analyzed before adding a pet to the home.

Pets Teach Responsibility: True of False

True or false depends on the age of the child, the child’s personality, rules set down by the parents, the type of pet and it’s needs etc. If a 4-year-old is bought a puppy, parents should not expect much other than happiness and a playmate for the child. Asking him or her to be responsible for picking up the yard after it messes or ensuring it has food and water is a bit unrealistic. The child is more likely to play in the water as they are to give it.

If it’s responsibility that needs to be taught, try volunteering the child at a local shelter. Have them go there an hour or two a day or on the weekends to help with all the chores associated with owning that type of pet. If after they have been there a while and showed promise, perhaps they can earn that pet they want. This also allows that if the child is not at all interested, the parents don’t end up with an unwanted animal that now has to be relocated.

Breeding Teaches the Child About Life

This is completely untrue and irresponsible. Don’t ever buy pets for the sake of breeding them to teach children about the miracle of birth. At a young age, the child won’t truly understand anyways and for the older ones, if parents really want to share that, find a video. Breeding pets into a world that is overpopulated along with inexperienced and unknowing experts of the pet is dangerous and cruel. Find another way.

Pets Are Companions For Kids

They can be depending on what kind is bought. Different children will enjoy different things and personalities need to be taken into account when thought of purchasing a pet occurs. Size is a factor too. Will they be too small for the child to handle safely? Will they be too large for the child to be comfortable with? Consider several options before deciding on one.

Most Important Rule In Pet Buying

Probably the single-most important rule is to remember that no matter the reason, no matter the choice, the the responsibility, care and upkeep of the animal(s) is ultimately the parents. When children forget, grow out of a stage or just simply don’t want to, the animal has needs and they must be met by the parent.

Remember that rule when selecting a pet. If a parent is afraid of snakes, buying one for the child is not a good idea. The parent must be willing to show the child how to handle the pet, clean the cage, catch it when it escapes (because they all will at some point). It needs to be a pet the parent is comfortable with having and maintaining.

Budgeting for the Care, Maintenance and Upkeep of the Pet

The animal may be bought inexpensively but what about everything else? Will it need a veterinarian on a regular basis for shots and check-ups? Feeding and water bowls, food, brushes, kennels or cages, bedding, dietary needs out of the norm…it all adds up. A house should have all the necessary needs of the particular animal before ever buying it. Some such as fish as fairly easy to acquire and the budget varies from $50 to extremes. Dogs have other needs along with the above such as exercise.

Make sure to research the potential pets before selecting one. Fight the urge to buy on impulse. Yes, that puppy in the window may be the cutest thing on four legs but is the family really ready for one? Can the family commit to the lifespan of the pet and give it care and love the way it needs? Research, research, research!

Taking Time to Make the Right Choice in Pets

Some may say it takes too much time or they don’t like to do the research. If they can’t make the time to do some research before buying, most likely, they won’t have the time for the pet either. Doing the homework before a test ensures success. Study and know what is going to be a commitment and a responsibility. Pets are wonderful to have if they are the right kind for the household.