Six Points to Consider When Choosing a Pet For Your Child
By Hilary Daglish
“Can I have a pet for my birthday, Mum?” says Amelia
“Not yet, you’re too young” replied Mum
This was a common question for several years until one day Mum thought that Amelia is ten now and might be ready for the responsibility of owning and looking after a pet.
So what is the best pet for Amelia?
How can Mum help her make this important choice?
Here are six points to consider when choosing a pet for your child eg Amelia
- Ask ” What kind of pet do you like?”
It may be a duck to a dinosaur.
You need to set limits as to what pets you are prepared to have, what pets you are able to have eg if you live in an apartment then no Great Danes are allowed and what pets are safe for you to have. Write down the choices.
2.Level of Commitment:
Think about what level of commitment Amelia has shown in past projects, like a sport or a hobby.
- was she keen at first and then slack off?
- did she wear her skates once and leave them lying around?
- does her floor look like a jungle?
- what is her staying power at things like?
You have more pet choices if she is a dedicated person. And her interest should be long enough to see the pet into middle age.
- What is the ‘ick’ factor?
Is Amelia squeamish at the thought of little gerbil goodies left in the palm of the hand, pet vomit or fussy at the thought of feeding the animal that she mistakenly chose? If so then the pet needs to be a cleaner variety and less hands on – nice tropical fish are great for finicky children.
- Activity Level:
Is Amelia active or more laid back? This is something to consider because trying to get your inactive child to walk a dog is very stressful or giving tropical fish to an energetic person is totally pointless when they could be running a more active pet.
The saying that ‘opposites attract” could be beneficial. If Amelia was shy then a bouncy Boxer may help to break her out of her shell. or if Amelia can’t stay still then a gentle pug might calm her down.
Who is responsible for this pet? Make sure everyone in the family is aware of this. Even though Amelia asked for a pet she is not totally responsible – it becomes at least partial responsibility of other family members who may, for example, feed the cat or walk the dog from time to time. It is important to make sure Amelia understands the rules and obligations that will be expected of her before bringing a pet home. You can make it clearer with pictures for younger children but Amelia is old enough to get clear worded directions. You can give out rewards and punishments for meeting obligations or not, e.g. if she does not feed the cat then she will loose television watching time.If Amelia is taught responsibility now then she’ll turn out to be a responsible adult.
Sometimes Amelia may forget certain things in cat care or is sick, have extra school work or extra curricular activities and so it may be time for you or another family member to step in. If you are not prepared to do this then you may need to reconsider getting a pet at this time.
The idea about choosing a pet for your child, in this case Amelia, is to give them (or Amelia) the options according to what you want, what you can have with considerations of responsibility and their (or her) personality. Then let them (or her) have their (or her) say at what they (or she) wants. Hopefully a suitable choice can be made which can not only give the family a pet but your child or children (or Amelia) a friend forever.
The Final Outcome of Choosing a Pet for Your Child
Let’s take the example of Amelia.
Amelia is a bright and bubbly girl who loves being active with sport like netball and swimming plus enjoying quiet times with reading and drawing. She also likes socialising with her friends. Her room can get a little messy but it’s because she gets carried away with her interests.She doesn’t mind the thought of cleaning up animal messes and decided she would like to have a young pet like a puppy or kitten to grow up with.
Her parents thought that she would show responsibility towards caring for a puppy or kitten as well as having the right personality. There limiting factor was a small house and back yard. So they all decided that a kitten would be a great pet for Amelia.
So what next in the process of choosing a pet for your child.
- Finding A Pet For you child. In this case a kitten for Amelia
- Training Your Pet In this case training a Amelia’s kitten.
Article Source: Six Points to Consider When Choosing a Pet For Your Child