Adding a Pet to Your Family

Monday’s Parenting Thought
Are you thinking of adding a pet to your family? Four out of ten families do after having children.
Your first decision should be what kind of pet is best for your children and your family. A dog? Cat? Bird? Hamster? Fish? Or, if you live in the country, perhaps something more unusual like chickens, sheep, pigs, horses.
These questions can help you decide what pet is best for you and your family.
  1. What type of cleanup will be required?
  2. How much space will be needed?
  3. What will happen with your pet if you have to travel away from home?
  4. What are the costs for health care and food for your pet?
  5. How much people-attention will your pet need?
  6. How will your pet act (sleepy or active, loud or quiet, fast or slow, overpowering or uninterested) and does that fit your child’s personality?
  7. What do you expect to get back from your pet (cuddling, protection, playtime) and does that fit your pet’s personality?
  8. Does your child have the skills and maturity to take on pet chores?
  9. If your child is not ready for pet chores, are you willing to do the daily teaching and supervision to make sure he or she can take on pet chores soon?
Inspired by PICK A PUP by Marsha Wilson Chall
More about kids and pets at Kids and Pets: The Basics and Kids and Pets: More about Responsibility, Love, Independence, and Loss

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