Pets can bring companionship and great comfort, but getting a pet is a huge responsibility. We’ve heard the usual stories – kids begging for a pet but to end up giving the pet away shortly after because the family realized that they could not take care of it. Use the below as a guide for the recommended time to get your child a pet!
- Babies. It is often said that raising a pet along especially if you have kids from a young age brings about great benefits – inculcating responsibility from young, learning ownership, how to care for others and more. However, caring for your newborn is a challenging task in itself – waking up at odd hours, figuring what’s wrong when the baby cries etc. If your child is at this phase, it might be better to wait it out, especially if you’re new to parenthood.
- Toddlers. If you’re considering to get a pet for your child, it’s best to get pets that have a mild-temperament, such as a large family dog. Toddlers having little conscious of how tight their grip is thus could potentially hurt your pet. In the process, your child could get hurt too by your pet. Unless you are familiar with your pet’s temperament, it’s best to monitor how your child treats your pet and correct their behaviour immediately if they seemed to be causing discomfort to your pet.
- Kindergarten and above. At the age of 5, it is a good time to have a pet. However, parents themselves must be prepared for the responsibility that comes with a pet. Do not simply buy your child a pet, even if it’s one that requires little care such as a goldfish without explaining to them the responsibility that comes with it. Do it together with them to show them the correct way of caring and handling the pet. Slowly allow them to accomplish the task themselves when you think they’re ready!
No matter at which stage of your child’s life, keeping a pet is a huge responsibility. Other things to factor in before getting a pet are such as time in your daily routine, especially for pets which requires more care. Traveling is also another issue – do you have someone else to take care of your pets when your family is away? Or have the finances to put your pets under professional care for your travel period? Don’t buy on impulse – having a pet is life-time commitment!
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