What to Do When a Child Asks for a Pet

This day is going to come sooner or later. So, we want to give you a few tips so you'll know what to do when your child asks for a pet.
What to Do When a Child Asks for a Pet

Last update: 02 February, 2019

If you have small children, you’ll know that sooner or later they’re going to beg you to get a pet. In an ideal situation, we’d tell you without a second thought that the best thing for a child is to grow up with a four-legged, winged or scaly friend. In this article, we’ll tell you a few things you should keep in mind when your child asks for a pet.

However, there are many factors you should consider before bringing an animal into the home. This living being deserves to be respected and cared for, and you’re putting that responsibility on yourself.

Choose a pet responsibly

Some children with their pets.

So, make sure that all the adults in the home are willing to assume that responsibility. If so, then it’s time to find the perfect pet to grow up alongside your child. 

Usually, when a kid asks for a pet, he’ll want a cat or a dog. This makes a lot of sense, as they’re great companions and are great to play with, along with other things. However, don’t rule out the other options. For example:

  • Canaries
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Rabbits
  • Fish

When a child asks for a pet, try to grant his wish. Not only will a pet make him a happier person, but it will also make him healthier, more responsible and more supportive.

What to consider when your child asks for a pet

First of all, ask yourself what type of pet would work best in your family. Remember, it’ll be your responsibility, not your child’s, to take care of it. When thinking about getting a pet, you’ll have to keep certain factors in mind like your time and your budget. Additionally, you’ll need to take into account how much space you have in your home.

So, depending on the species, size and characteristics of the pet, here are many of the responsibilities that you’ll need to take care of:

  • Veterinary check-ups
  • Vaccines
  • Adequate diet
  • Grooming
  • Walks
  • Accessories

Benefits of your child growing up with a pet

If you’ve already decided to take on the responsibility of bringing a pet into the family, then congratulations! Not only will he make you very happy, but your child’s daily interactions with him will also be extremely beneficial. Some of the benefits are:

  • It will make him more responsible. You can give him age-appropriate responsibilities to help care for the pet. However, this should always be done under your supervision.
  • He’ll have a stronger immune system and will be less likely to develop allergies.
  • He’ll be more active. Your child will get more exercise and he’ll even forget about the virtual world of computers and other devices for a while.
  • He’ll become a more sensitive and supportive human being. Also, he’ll be more in touch with his environment.

Choosing to adopt a pet for your child

A child feeding rabbits.

If you’ve made the decision to adopt a pet, you’ll need to make some things clear to your child. He’ll need to understand that his pet is not a toy, but rather a living being that has to be respected and cared for. You should also explain that his new friend might not always want to play, and that he shouldn’t bother him while he’s eating or resting.

If you decide on a dog or a cat, you should strongly consider adopting an abandoned animal from a shelter. That’s another great lesson you can teach your little ones. Pets aren’t disposable, the commitment is forever.

Things might not be so easy at the start, especially if you get a puppy. But don’t get discouraged. Soon enough you’ll see that your pet isn’t just improving your children’s lives, but also those of the whole family.

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