There are a lot of milestones that families go through in life but one of the biggest for children is getting their first pet. It never seems to matter whether it’s the smallest fish or the biggest horse; a family pet it something they never forget. Not only do you get to choose what animal is perfect for your home, but you get to love and nurture that pet for the rest of their life. It’s a huge responsibility, but one that is welcomed with open arms from children and parents alike. The only true question, is which pet to get, and that’s where you may hit roadblocks. If your children have never had a pet before, you’d be likely to think sensibly and go for something they can easily look after like a hamster or a fish. Children on the other hand, often have bigger dreams in sight.
Some little girls daydream about horse riding and looking after horses. Horses make a wonderful pet, but they’re far less likely to be curled up on the floor in the living room at your feet. Dogs on the other hand, make a perfect pet for children. They end up growing up together, learning patience from each other and so many of your child’s memories will be attached to the animal they would grow up with. They’re not easy animals for the grown-ups though.
Sure, feeding, walking and training all happen and that part isn’t what we mean. The cost of an animal is the real concern and when you get a new pet for your child, you have to break down whether you can afford the costs on a long-term basis. Not only will you have to cover their food, you need to make sure you have a fantastic local veterinary surgeon. Animals fall ill in the same way humans do – but there’s no rushing to the local hospital with a pet. You need to have the correct pet insurance that works for your circumstances and you need to ensure that you are local enough to a vet in case of an emergency. You can take every precaution in the world and those precautions can be costly.
Before you choose your family pet, sit down together and discuss what you all want from your family animal. Write the pros and cons of each animal type down from fish to bird to dog. Check out your pet insurance options and speak at length together about the responsibility you are about to embark on. If you can, speak to local rescue centres and shelters and go and view some of the animals. It’s important to teach your children that a rescue animal has as much – if not more – value than a brand-new puppy or kitten. They’ll be able to feel like they have a say in their choice of pet alongside you and you’ll be able to witness their maturity. What’s not to love?