You’re having a day out at the local park with your family when a cute poodle and her owner walk by. Suddenly, your daughter ignites the “can we get a dog?” conversion, making sure she throws in just the right amount of sadness and despair in her voice. This time, instead of throwing the standard “No, you are not ready for a pet yet” response, you actually consider introducing a new member to the family but are worried about the challenges.
You’re not alone. Many families often have a difficult time deciding when to introduce a new furry member to the family, especially when there are kids involved. Living with a pet is a huge responsibility that requires a lot of patience and support from each family member.
Before you introduce that fluffy friend into the family, check to see if your family meets these requirements.
1. You are allowed to keep pets in your area
One of the many perks of owning a standalone home is the freedom to set your own rules, including whether or not to adopt a pet. Plus, if your home comes with a large enough yard, your pet dog can run around freely.
Apartments don’t usually come with the same level of freedom. Many apartment buildings often have restrictions on the type and size of the pets allowed within the building.
You should also check with the authorities in the area you live for breeds that aren’t allowed. For instance, Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, and related dog breeds are illegal in the county of Miami-Dade, Florida.
2. No one in the family has pet allergies
In the US, over 15% of the entire population is allergic to cats and dogs. Acute allergic reactions have been known to cause death and numerous visits to emergency rooms across the country.
Before getting a dog, a cat, or any other pet, ensure everyone at home has been tested for allergies, especially the older members of the family. Kids usually outgrow allergies and most often develop immunity against allergens.
3. Free Time
Dogs and many other pets often require owners to commit a significant amount of time to care for them. They have to be trained on etiquette around the house, walked regularly, fed, washed, and socialized with other family members. You should identify at least one or two members of your family who have enough time each day to hang out with the pet, especially if it’s a dog.
Spending time with your pet will enable you to become a good animal whisperer, which will help you become a better pet owner.
Once you have the time aspect covered, you’ll be at least halfway on the journey to adopting your next pooch or cat.
4. Financial Capability
Apart from the money you spend when adopting your pet, you should also be prepared to spend extra cash on a daily or weekly basis on things like food and preventative care. Pets like dogs and cats will usually need to be neutered or sprayed before being adopted. Recurrent expenses on food, toys, cleaning supplies, and routine or emergency visits to the vet should also be factored in when adopting a pet.
Therefore, always factor in the amount of disposal income(s) in the family when bringing in a pet into your lives.
5. Everyone in the family is on board
Imagine bringing a labrador home and then realizing your teenage kid is terrified of dogs. Many pet owners often make the mistake of assuming everyone else loves dogs, cats, or other pets. Adding a new member to the family should be a joint decision, with each member of the family involved in the decision-making process.
Duties and responsibilities should be shared out among family members, including the kids.
6. You’re ready to learn
New pets always come with a steep learning curve. Owners must learn about how to keep their pets safe and healthy, including proper nutrition and knowing when to take the pet to a vet. Invest in training for members of your family who are willing to learn, including the kids.
Educated pet owners in the family are more likely to raise happy and healthy pets compared to those who leave everything to chance.
Being a pet owner is a fulfilling achievement, especially when the whole family is on board. It also comes with its own set of challenges, so make sure you and your family are prepared before taking that step.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay.com via pixabay.com
|||^||Pet Education: Human Allergies to Dogs|