There comes a point in every parent’s life where a child will ask if they can have a pet. There are many pros and cons when it comes to bringing a pet into the family home and certain pets do come with additional responsibilities and costs, from training a puppy to buying pet food and other essentials every week.
Deciding whether or not to provide your child with a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly. Most parents know the rule about giving a pet for Christmas and this rule should apply all year round. A pet brings a great deal of responsibility and the parent can easily find themselves bearing the brunt of that responsibility once the novelty of having a pet wears off for the child. The first question a parent should ask is: is my child ready for that responsibility?
There are also a few points to consider before giving a child a pet including issues such as allergies, the cost of keeping a pet and the type of pet. Some pets do need a lot of looking after, especially if they are young and this factor alone will mean additional responsibilities.
The internet has made it slightly easier for pet owners in terms of buying pet food and pet accessories, and this can help to keep the costs down. In terms of costs, the owner may also have to consider veterinary bills, pet-sitters and grooming. It’s estimated that over the course of a dog’s life the owner will have spent around $26,500 on upkeep.
Next up comes the type of pet. Most children will probably know the type they want, usually falling into the dog, cat or rabbit variety or sometimes even a horse. On some occasions a child will want an exotic pet such as a monkey, snake or a rat. Some children do live quite happily with exotic pets such as tarantulas, potbelly pigs, chipmunks, lizards and parrots but you’ll really need to do your homework.
Exotic pets do bring up their own issues such as permits needed and the fact that some countries will not allow certain exotic animals under jurisdiction laws. Exotic pets may also need specific food not stocked locally, which is where internet ordering can be handy.
The above points are some of the major issues a parent should consider before deciding whether or not to provide a child with a pet. A pet can certainly be a life changing experience for a child and researching issues prior to buying will help to make that life changing experience a positive one.
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