Let Your Children Help Choose The Family Pet – Part One

Let Your Children Help Choose The Family Pet – Part One

Have your children been hounding you for a dog, cat, rabbit or hamster? Are you already contemplating adding a new family member in the form of a pet? Let your children have a say in your choice of what kind of animal you’ll be welcoming into your home. As with many big decisions in life, such as moving to a new home, the more you keep your children involved in the decision-making course of action and preparations, the more they’ll be excited about, and ready to participate in, the responsibilities and adjustments that the change entails. In the case of a new pet, this early involvement in the choice of an animal will help your children along the way to accepting responsibility for their choices and their actions, plus it will contribute towards their growing up to be caring and accountable as adults.

The first decision to be made regarding a new pet is, what species shall it be? Have your children always dreamed of having a dog who would join them on their adventures? Perhaps they want a soft, warm and affectionate cat to cuddle up with on a rainy day and tell their troubles to. Have your kids wished for a whiskered little brown mouse who would climb into a snug shirt pocket to retrieve a hidden nut or take a little nap?

In addition to such heart-based desires for particular types of pets, there are also some basic issues that must be addressed. What kind of pet is your family in the best position to house and care for? How much space, money and time do you have to devote to your pets? Animals are not toys to be bought on impulse and then tossed away when they cease to amuse or become a burden. By considering such important questions and making well thought out decisions at the outset, you can avoid contributing to the sorrow of animals who are abandoned or end their short lives in animal shelters.

The first issue to think about is space. Do you have a large enclosed yard safe from cars and other dangers, such as broken glass or unhealthy chemicals? Do you live in a city apartment where a dog would have to be cooped up all day, with nothing to do but look forward to the fleeting evening walks?

Cats can settle more comfortably into apartment living and, in an urban ecosystem, cats are far safer remaining indoors than allowed to roam where all sorts of dangers like cars, dogs, diseases, discarded antifreeze could prematurely end their lives. The outside world can be fatal for cats. For example, in winter outdoor cats may climb up under a car’s hood for the residual warmth of the engine, and then be killed when the unsuspecting driver starts up his car.

Small rodents don’t require much space, although you should build them as large a house as you possibly can, and never limit them to sad little cages empty of space to run and play, or lacking in platforms, wheels and trapezes to entertain them. Large wood and screen homes are also better ventilated than those with glass or plastic sides and consequently much healthier for small companion animals.

Money is another easily overlooked, but important factor to consider when deciding what pet your family would like. You can avoid later heartbreak by doing a few calculations in improvement. While small pets such as rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils require that you furnish them with a living space of their own, their food, water bottles and such are inexpensive. Cats and dogs are much larger and eat more, increasing the size of your monthly food bills, plus they require regular visits to the vet for routine shots, not to mention the one time expense of spaying or neutering procedures. Once you’ve made the decision to welcome any animals into your home, you have the responsibility to give them the best care and treatment possible.

Time is of the essence. Is your complete household off at work or school all day? Will a highly social animal, such as a dog, use most days alone and forlorn? Certain types of pets need more of your time, in more ways than one. First of all, consider the daily time needed to manager your pets’ daily needs, such as feeding, washing water dishes, cleaning out litter pans, changing fish tanks, grooming, or dog walking. Will these routine chores be a pleasure to perform for the animals you love, an unpleasant necessity that you really don’t mind, or an unwelcome burden that leads you to resent the presence of these animals in your home?

The second basic part of the question of obtainable time is the important role that love and fondness play in your pets’ well-being. While a colony of mice might not mind if they’re not played with by you or your children for a few days, dogs and cats will suffer for it. Some animals’ emotional stability depends on the love they receive from the human members of the family. Cuddling, patting, and play can make all the difference in a pet’s happiness, and in how well they fit into their home ecosystem. Would you prefer a cat who runs and hides or tries to scratch you when you approach her, or one who rubs up against your leg and climbs into your lap for a cuddle ? To a large extent, it is your behavior and that of your children that will determine the personality and behavior of the pets who proportion your home. Happy and sweetly dispositioned pets are those who are well cared for and well loved. Before taking on pets who need a lot of your time, be sure that you have time to give. In addition, give thought to what will happen to your pets when you head off on vacation. Would your pets go with you, or do you have friends or relatives who can come into your home and care for your pets, in addition as use time with them ? Or would you board your pets?

Pets are often seen as a way to teach children responsibility, and the children are the ones who will be expected to take the time to attend to their pet’s physical and emotional needs. This approach can be of great value to children. If, however, the children are not however ready to manager such responsibilities, or they neglect their duties and lose interest in their pets, it is the animals who suffer the consequences. consequently, in the time of action of selecting family pets, you must decide how much time and devotion you yourself are willing to give to your household animals. You need to be willing to clean those litter pans or walk the dog in the pouring rain, if necessary. Your pets cannot be made to suffer . Animals are living beings with needs and feelings and they cannot be made to bear the brunt of neglect in case the children renege on their promises to do everything, if only they were allowed to have that dog or rabbit or other pet.

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