Guest post by Kris Louis
How your family can benefit from raising a pet
Pet ownership is something that kids aspire to at some point. This can actually benefit them in a number of ways. They can be on the receiving end of unconditional love, for one thing. For another, they learn valuable lessons in responsibility and cooperation. Owning a pet can even teach kindness and foster a love of animals and nature. But in order for your kids to enjoy all these amazing perks, you do have to prepare them for the task and set them up for success. Here’s how.
Choose the right pet
Some animals are more kid-friendly than others, so your choice of pet definitely matters. Consider your housing situation, lifestyle, income, and experience when choosing a pet for your child. Most importantly, you need to take into account medical conditions like allergies before bringing a pet home.
Dogs and cats are most likely the top contenders. However, it’s also not as easy as adopting the cutest one you can find. Rather, you’ll want to consider the animal’s temperament, energy level, grooming needs, size, etc. The AKC points out that some dog breeds are best for kids, as well, so it’s a must to look out for qualities like patience and protectiveness as you make your choice. (Remember, you can find dozens of kid-friendly pets through fostercare, dog and pet rescues, and at your local animal shelter. On this blog you will find many posts on pet adoption, try reading Love Puppies? Adopt a Puppy.
Other types of animals can also be worth considering, especially if your kid has allergies, or you have space constraints, or you simply don’t want a dog or cat. These animals are often just as worthy of love and may even be easier to care for.
The point is not to make the decision impulsively as it takes the right kind of pet to make the experience a worthwhile one for your family. And as an aside, if possible, choose to adopt a pet instead of buying one, because you get more options at considerably less cost—plus you could save a life.
Invest in the right tools
Welcoming a pet into your household is not going to be an easy task. You’ll need all the help you can get, which is why you need to stock up on essentials to help both your pet and your family settle in easily and quickly. Petfinder explains that it’s a must, therefore, to have a checklist of essentials to ensure that your new resident has everything necessary to get comfortable.
Now, the sheer number of things that a new pet needs can be daunting. However, you can keep the expense low by shopping at trusted retailers like PetSmart or Chewy. You can even look for discount coupons and codes and cashback offers to enjoy more savings at Chewy.
Assign children the right tasks
No matter how willing your kids are to take care of a pet, chances are, they will still look to you for instruction. But don’t lose sight of a major component of pet ownership, which is to teach your kids responsibility.
Thankfully, even a toddler can already take on some pet care chores with your supervision, so you can definitely start ‘em young. The key is to keep chores age-appropriate. For instance, younger kids can already be tasked with feeding pets, while tweens and teens can be entrusted with exercising pets and even cleaning after them.
You do need to show kids the ropes, though, as well as provide supervision where needed. Case in point, you’ll want to keep your house clean, so you need to put in place pet-cleaning measures and engage the entire family in enforcing them, such as wiping down dogs in entryways or vacuuming. Look to pet experts like Dog Leader Mysteries for tips on everything from deodorizing and cleaning to grooming that minimizes hair and dander so pets and humans alike can live happily ever after.
Ultimately, the right pet will bring more love and joy to the family than trouble, which makes them among the best gifts you can ever give your kids. And the lessons they can potentially pick up in the process? Priceless.
Learn about our guest blogger, Kris Louis
“A former advertising copywriter, Kristin Louis is a mom to two rambunctious boys: oldest is 10 and youngest is 7. She created parentingwithkris.com, where she puts her skills to work writing about the trials and tribulations of parenting.”
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