So your child has
been nagging for a while. Nagging for a pet and his/her birthday is around the
corner. So, you are considering that request. Pet is a nice addition to the
family. No doubts that many families who own pets, admitted how much joy their
pets have brought them. Your child can
learn about nurturing and loving too. Having said that, pets come with great
responsibilities (just like having a human child). So before surprising
your child with a pet, there are a few things you need to really consider.
We are ever so thankful
to have Erin, who is one of the most passionate pet owners out there to help us
write this piece of article. She was involved in a dog rescue before and
she's now a President at The Bunny Burrow ,
a non-profit rabbit rescue organisation which currently is caring for 25 bunnies. She owns 5 rescued dogs and 7 bunnies and also
homeschooling her two kids (seriously…! A super woman if you ask me).
Here are 8 things to consider
before getting pets for kids:
Age of child will
all hinge on type of pet. All kids are different. Some display a lot of
responsibility at a young age. Some not until they are older. Some never! For
example, my daughter Hannah, got a hamster at age 3, however she was very
responsible and far more mature than her age. I also knew that she would only
be responsible for easy things, like filling the water bottle. All the other
care was my responsibility as an adult. Getting a pet for a child is never a
good idea unless the parents have realistic expectations.
This will depend
on what the parents have had or how much research the parent has done if they
have no experience. Different pets come with different needs. There really is
no such thing as a "starter pet" for a child.
Once you know what
type of pet to get, size does matter too. Small dogs could mean an accidental
injury to the dog. Big dogs could mean an accidental injury to child (knocking
over child). So, know your child and your family situation to see how the pet
can fit into the family.
All pets can be
costly. You must consider more than just feeding. Vet expenses can easily add
up (yearly wellness exams, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, any illnesses).
Exotic pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets mean higher vet costs being
that their needs are different /unique.
Safety needs to be
taken into an account as well when having a pet. Each pet will require
different housing requirements. For example dogs like to chew. So things like
shoes should not be left where a dog can have access. They should also be
'crated' when you cannot be home to supervise, especially when they are
How is your
schedule like as parent? Will you be able to provide the care for the pet you
are going to get for your child? Baby
animals like puppies are so adorable, but you need to realize that they are
going to need lots of your time and patience. So, you want to think these
through as a pet does need TLC from its owner too..
Education is a key
to successful pet ownership. Read books. Ask friends and family who have pets.
Researching on the internet can be very useful too. If child is too young to
read/research, it is up to the parent to do so and teach their child.
There are far too
many unwanted and homeless pets of all kinds out there. Adopting will help
these animals to find their forever homes. Just to mention few places you can
adopt from in Minnesota:
“The one, most single thing I cannot stress enough is parent involvement. There is not
one single kind of pet that is good for any kids to care for alone. Parents
should never get a child a pet without knowing they will be responsible for the
pets. A pet should be considered a part of the family and be a family decision”
Thank you so much for your contribution Erin!
If pest are not on your list of gifts, you may want to consider some other ideas on our directory of 65+ non-toy gifts for kids.
Labels: Gifts For Kids