A pet is a wonderful addition to any family home. It’s a great way to teach your kids some responsibility and perfect for playtime as well. All animals are a big responsibility, however, and it’s important to think carefully about which pet is right for you. Here are five things to consider when choosing a pet.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Pet for Your Family
Your free time
Think about how much time you can realistically commit. Your choice of pet should depend on your lifestyle. If you have free time to go out daily for walks and are home for periods during the day, why not get a dog? If you’d like information about dogs, find more here. Cats and dogs need feeding, grooming, and daily attention, so always bear this in mind.
If you aren’t able to dedicate as much time, or are out at work all day then perhaps a lower maintenance pet would be better. These include smaller animals such as turtles or rodents for instance. All animals need constant care and attention however, so whichever pet you choose make sure you can provide this.
For a larger animal, you’ll need more space, inside and out. Here are some examples of big dog breeds that need substantial backyard space. Smaller dogs and cats will still need to go outside but aren’t as demanding. With cats, you’ll need to consider your proximity to highways and dangerous roads, as they like to explore on their own.
Your child’s developmental stage
It’s a good idea to wait until at least your oldest child is 5 or 6 years old. This is about the optimum age to start learning about caring for animals. It could be a little more stressful for younger children if they’re not used to animals.
Prepare your kids but taking them to visit friends and family with pets. When you decide on a pet for your family it might be worth getting a children’s educational book about how to care for your chosen animal. Here are some more tips on how to get kids to play safely with pets.
Different animal characteristics
Pets’ life expectancy depends on the species. Healthy cats and dogs will live into their teens, whereas small rodents like rats and hamsters only live a couple of years. Think about the time frame. You don’t want your new pet to get in the way of other future plans.
Some animals are more playful and friendly than others. Dogs, cats, and rats are naturally social, but some smaller pets might not be. Here is a list of the more affectionate pets and their typical characteristics and sociability.
Costs and vet fees
Some pets are cheaper than others but all will be an additional cost, so budget for this. Vet fees can be quite expensive unfortunately and certain animals will require insurance. Here is a breakdown of some standard vet procedures and fees.
By giving the decision some careful thought, you’ll soon be able to find the perfect pet for your family.