Adopting a pet when you have small children can seem like an enormous responsibility to take on. You may be worried about the extra mess and other concerns if your children are particularly small. However, pets can provide valuable lessons for small children. Not only do they teach them how to be a caring and nurturing person, but also how to share responsibilities. They will soon become a member of the family, and you won’t be able to imagine what life was like before.
Involve them in mucky jobs
One of the easiest ways to teach your children responsibility is to involve them in most of the unpleasant aspects of owning a dog. Taking out the disposable bags on walks and rinsing the dog off after a muddy walk are all part of the parcel. Not involving them will only conjure the illusion that owning a pet is a piece of cake.
Choose responsible breeders
If you are choosing a cat or dog and you are after a particular breed, then try not to choose breeders who prioritize aesthetics over genetics. Many people will have heard those pedigree animals can come with high vets bills, and so you will want to ensure that your breeder has not been breeding animals with ongoing health conditions. For example, if you are after white lab puppies, ensure that you pick a breeder that promises healthy, fit dogs. A simple Google search can help you find a reputable breeder like Snowy Pines White Labs. Labradors are also particularly great for small children, as their docile temperament is well-suited for small children. After all, if you have smaller kids, then they are likely to scream, shout, knock items over and generally make a lot of loud noises that some animals can find distressing.
Come to some agreements first
If your children have been begging you for a pet for some time, then you will want to ensure that they are just as serious as you are about the real commitment of owning an animal. As such, you will want to establish some ground rules.
- Everyone will take it for regular walks or exercise it.
- Feeding times will be shared equally; everyone should take their turn in filling the bowls.
- While the parents are the primary care-givers, everyone should be expected to chip in when it comes to generally looking after the pet.
In terms of expectation, however, it’s important to be realistic about what your children will be capable of when it comes to caring for an animal. As a parent, you will probably have to do the main bulk of the care, and you will be responsible for taking it to the vet and organizing care when you all go on vacation.
Adopting a pet can be incredibly rewarding for families with small children. It teaches your little ones how to be compassionate and hard-working. However, it’s important to share responsibility while also knowing that you will be solely responsible for the animal. It also helps to adopt your animal from a reputable, trustworthy breeder.
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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.