As a parent, you would want to teach your kids the sense of responsibility as early as possible. What better way to do just that by letting him have his own pet.
Before you invest in pet essentials, decide first if you want to have a dog or cat. This can be tricky especially if you have kids in the decision-making equation.
That’s one of the secrets—giving him a hand in choosing own pet. Consider these things.
Choosing a pet for your kids
1) Determine your child’s readiness
Ask yourself: Is my child ready for his first pet? A willing child would always say ‘ Yes, I am!’ but when the novelty wears off after a few weeks, it would be an entirely different story. Your child may start to lose interest, enthusiasm and start whining about the things that he needed to do.
Then, ask questions some more: Can you commit time supervising your child and his new pet? Are you ready for the additional expenses for pet food and care as well as pet supplies? Or, should you choose a low-maintenance pet for your kid? Pet health is the responsibility of the parents.
Indeed, it takes more than money, but also time and effort. For example, you may give your child responsibilities of feeding or walking the furry friend. However, it is your obligation to ensure that these tasks are accomplished. You also should know that your child is 100% onboard with the right mindset because having a pet is a long-term commitment.
2) Prepare him for the tasks ahead
Make him own the process of pet ownership by including him in the discussion especially those that directly involve him. Other than that, making him understand the advantages and disadvantages of owning a pet is necessary. In this way, he would anticipate the changes in the family dynamics since you will have a new life to attend to in a few days.
Since this is his, it would be wise to prepare him for what he needs to do when it arrives. If you want to ascertain your child’s readiness to play with and care for a pet, you may visit the pet store or a neighbor with the same pet as what he wants. Pet fostering is also an opportunity you can explore. Some pets need a place to stay while their owners are not able to care for them.
Whichever route you take, make sure that your kid is guided. Also, make him understand that his participation is paramount in ensuring that the new pet is well taken care of. Otherwise, skip the idea if he will be uncooperative.
3) Match your child’s personality
Now that your child is ready and well-prepared, it’s high time to select the right pet for him. It is best to pick a guinea pig for a cuddly kid and a hamster for a curious kid. A dog is perfect for an active kid while a cat is ideal for a kid who is independent enough.
For the parents, it means psyching your child before deciding on which pet he should choose among the top 10 best pets for kids. Guide your child which one to choose. After all, you know your kid better than he knows himself. Again, you may discuss why he should want a cat over a dog instead but be gentle about it. Do not impose. Just offer suggestions and insights.
If your kid is decided on a pet such as a dog, do your research on which animal breed is the most suitable for him. Dogs have temperaments and aggressive problems, depending on the breed and breed-type, and you don’t want your kid to get hurt for sure. If possible, invest in obedience training.
Pet ownership for kids should be a welcome idea. It develops a sense of responsibility and meaning in children. Have realistic expectations though. Don’t forget that even if your kid is the owner, it’s a family decision.