Are Your Kids Ready For Pet Ownership
If you’ve got small children in your house you’ve probably heard so many requests for various pets that you’re all but immune to your little one’s pleas. After all, parents frequently wind up caring for pets once their children lose interest in them. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If approached correctly, pet ownership can be a great way of teaching your kids the value of hard work and responsibility. Here are a few things to think when considering whether or not your kids are ready for pet ownership.
All pets, big and small, require a fair amount of care and upkeep. We strongly encourage parents to get a feel for how their kids react to the work associated with pet ownership by taking an animal out for a test drive. This can be as simple as just caring for a friends’ dog while they’re on vacation. If your kids willingly walk, feed and pick up after that dog for a week or two without complaint, that’s a very good sign that they’re ready.
Of course pet ownership isn’t cheap and most small children don’t money of their own to pay for ongoing costs like food and medicine. It’s probably a pretty good idea to take your child to a vet supply store as part of the preparation process to give them an idea of just how much all those supplements and pills that very animal seems to need really cost.
New pet owners usually don’t have a really good idea of how much an animal’s health care costs over the long haul. If you’re willing to shop around, and aren’t shy about using a needle, you can usually find a vet supply shop that can provide some basic immunizations and other medicine at discount prices.
When you’re looking for an actual veterinarian, you’ll definitely want to do some shopping around. Many animal doctors cater to high end clientele and have no problem recommending expensive procedures that you may not be interested in paying for.
If your child is willing to take on the long term work associated with pet ownership, we highly recommend supporting them in this endeavor. Just make it very clear that the moment they start shirking their responsibilities, like cleaning and feeding the pet that the animal will be sent to someone who is actually willing to do the work. That usually changes things very quickly.
The lessons they learn caring for an animal will carry over their entire life.