By now we’ve probably seen an abundance of pet-related movies, stories about their heroism and one-of-a-kind love and benefits of their companionship to want one of our own. Whether or not you’re a first time pet-owner or already take care of “pocket pets” such as hamsters, pet adoption is a serious decision. You can’t just decide on wanting your own Hachiko overnight.
You can be sixty or in your not so terrible threes, or a teen – there is no age limit to suddenly wanting a pet.
It has been proven that dogs and children have a bond like no other but it doesn’t mean the pet has to be part of the family by the time the kid(s) are born. Nevertheless, it is still common for children to love animals in books and media, but be terrified to approach one in real life. Don’t get a pet so that your child can get over their fear of dogs.
No matter the age of the dog or owners, always remember that pet interactions and should always be done under the watchful eyes of an adult or guardian.
Ready for Doggy Duties
Having a pet at home means another living creature to keep safe, warm, cozy and alive in the winter.
On the other hand, some parents argue that having a pet is exactly what’s going to help their kids become more responsible. The duty of caring for a dog may seem daunting at first, but it’s normal. We all need time to warm up to new people; it’s the same for cats and dogs.
If you’re not completely sure about having another living creature at home, some animal shelters offer trial runs in the form of volunteerism at their headquarters or dog-sitting. If all goes well, maybe a final decision can then be made. Giving pets as a “surprise” is not advisable for individuals who haven’t had much experience and interaction around them. Instead, give it to someone who is prepared and mature enough. Keep in mind that some breeds are fiercer than others, so choose one that everyone in the family can deal with.
Pennies for your Pooches
If grooming, food, toys and accessories, daily walks and annual veterinary checkups for a dog are too financially challenging, consider going for a low-maintenance pet first.
Aside from a few exceptions, you can’t just feed them whatever’s leftover from your meals. It’s easy to fall victim to their (literal) puppy dog eyes – restrain the urge to secretly feed them under the table.
Grocery shopping now includes buying your pets food too. Aside from buying the appropriate food, you also have to make sure your dog treats are nutritious. Also remember to consult with your veterinarian what the best foods for them are. Alcohol and chocolates are a no-no. Fruits like grapes, avocado, peaches and plums are also not recommended since they can cause inflammation in their digestive systems. Most dogs were also born with peanut allergies, so nuts of any kind are restricted.
Setting aside expenses for their food is already a solution in itself. This means no sicknesses for them and less visits to the veterinarian. If keeping a pet feels more of a burden than an exciting new chapter you’re ready to take on, maybe it’s not the right time yet.
If someone in the family is allergic to fur, there’s always the option of caring for aquatic animals like turtles and fishes. Not only are they low maintenance, you also save a lot in terms of space occupied and money.
But did you know that pets can actually help prevent children from developing allergies or breathing complications? A 2012 Oprah interview with Dr. Oz revealed, “People with allergies produce antibodies which can cause inflammation in the airways (asthma) or the skin (eczema)… But exposure to a pet during infancy may mean less chance of developing such reactions in adulthood.”
Beware of adopting big dogs too, especially if you have an infant or toddler in the family. Dogs weighing more than the child can easily knock them over. This can lead to the development of traumas for the little ones.
Allot Time for your Canine
Everyone in the family, especially the children, have to understand that having a pet is a lasting obligation. They get older too, so you have to adjust to their growth patterns and needs. You can’t just want a pet and then give up taking care of it a week or two later. If you can’t commit, the best is option is to give it to a family who will.
Pets are prone to depression too. They’re social animals who need constant care and attention. Like children, they require stimulation, play and devotion. They don’t have to be at the top of your priority list, but they should at least be on the higher end.
We all know and agree that babies and puppies together make the cutest combination. Pets also add a little more life and also make a great addition to your family events – and pictures.
Remember that the responsibility of taking care of a pet does not lie solely on the hands of one person. Everyone in the family should make an effort and contribute to your furry friend’s well-being.
So, are you ready to meet your new best friend for life?