There are lots of aspects to consider before bringing a pet into your family. Everyone you talk to will seem to have a different point of view, advice or opinion, however at the end of the day you need to weigh up the pros and cons for yourself and decide what is best for your family, because hey, every family is different and what works for one won’t always work for another.
To help you out with the decision making, I have started a pro and con list for you. Don’t forget to add on your own points and adjust it to fit your family.
Because I like to be positive, let’s start with the pros:
– A pet helps to teach children responsibility (cleaning up from a pet, feeding, ensuring they are happy).
– Pets can bring a lot of joy and happiness to your family – they become another member of your tribe.
– Entertainment for your children – lots of pets can provide hours of entertainment for your family, for example, a puppy to play with, a bird to teach to talk, a bunny to play with.
– Pets can encourage a more active lifestyle, if you have a puppy, you need to take it out for walks, if you have a rabbit – you could take it outside for some grass nibbling and play etc.
– Pets help to teach empathy – children learn to relate to something other than themselves.
– Pets give unconditional love, they don’t judge and can become a good support for children who are lonely, struggling to adjust or having a tough time.
– Pets help children socialise, being around an animal encourages children to form a connection and create a bond.
– It’s a good way to learn and practice being patient; pet’s take time to learn tricks and sometimes don’t want to do what your child wants them to do. Learning to wait and respect the process is important.
– A pet can help your child academically too – they can sit and practice reading with a pet (without the worry of being judged), they can have the support of a loving animal when working on a tricky homework task or they can have the motivation of playing with the pet once they finish their study.
And now for the cons:
– Pets are a long-term commitment – will you be moving country soon? Will you be able to care for a pet for its lifetime?
– Pets can be expensive, vet bills, food, care if you are travelling etc.
– Depending on where you live and your lifestyle, certain pet’s might not fit in with your lifestyle or housing – are you allowed pets in your rental? Is there a backyard? Do you travel a lot?
– Allergies, this is a con, especially with fury pet options. Does someone in your house have an allergy that will be impacted by having a pet?
– Pets are messy. They need to be looked after and need to be cleaned up from regularly. It might feel like you have an extra child at times!
– You have to plan ahead; when you own a pet you have to say goodbye to spontaneous trips and decisions, you need to factor your pet in and provide for them.
There are other cons, but they are animal-specific (for example, a pet bird can be very loud and disruptive) so I will let you work out those cons for yourself.
No matter what choice you make regarding bringing a pet into your home, please make sure you do your research and think about it thoroughly. Pets are long term commitments and need to be planned for.
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