Getting a pet can bring you closer as a family and improve your quality of life. Caring for a pet can also teach children about responsibilities and give them valuable new skills that will help them in later life. Getting a family pet can be exciting, but you must do your research and prepare before welcoming a pet into your home. Here are four things to consider before obtaining a family pet.
1. Choose a pet that will suit your lifestyle
You must do research and carefully consider what type of pet will suit your family’s lifestyle. Dogs are the most commonly owned pet in the US, and over 30 million households own a dog, according to worldatlas.com. However, caring for a dog can be demanding, and your family must be prepared for the commitment. For instance, most dogs need to be walked several times a day to keep them fit and healthy. You must have the time to do this or be prepared to pay someone to walk your dog for you. If you travel a lot of don’t have the time available to take proper care of a dog, then consider getting a less demanding pet such as a hamster or a goldfish.
2. Calculate how much the pet will cost
The costs of keeping a pet add up, and you must be prepared to pay for essentials like food and pet accessories such as a dog harness and pet bed. You will also need to put some money aside for non-essentials such as hemp dog treats and play toys. Make sure you have a realistic idea of how much your pet will cost each month and ensure that you have enough disposable income to cover pet expenses. You should also keep in mind that you may have unexpected vet bills and medical costs. It is always best to take out quality pet insurance so that you are covered if your pet becomes ill or injured.
3. Discuss expectations and responsibilities
You must sit down as a family to discuss the expectations and responsibilities of getting a pet. Try to get all family members involved in caring for the pet and assign everyone some key tasks. Make sure that pet care tasks are age-appropriate, i.e. a younger child may help brush a new puppy, whereas an older child may take responsibility for walking the dog once a day. Set clear responsibilities and make sure that everyone knows what will be expected from them once the pet arrives.
4. Understand the commitment
Bringing a new pet into your home is a big commitment, particularly if you are getting a dog. Make sure that your family understands the commitment and is prepared to look after the pet long-term. Children may lose interest in caring for the pet once the novelty has worn off. Teach your children that having a pet is a lifelong commitment and explain that the pet will rely on your family and need caring for.
This is a contributed post and therefore may not represent the views and opinions of this blog or its author.