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6 Signs that Your Family is Ready for a Pet

6 Signs that Your Family is Ready for a Pet

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.

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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.[1] 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.

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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.

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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.

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Educated pet owners in the family are more likely to raise happy and healthy pets compared to those who leave everything to chance.

Bottom Line

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

Reference

[1] Pet Education: Human Allergies to Dogs

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Vikas Agrawal

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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