There will come a point in every parent’s life when their child begins begging for their very own pet. Many factors must be considered before making this decision however. Your child must understand the importance of taking care of a living, breathing animal, as well as how much responsibility comes along with it. These are some signs your kids are ready for a pet:
Comfortable around Animals
Getting a pet should not be used to try eliminating your child’s fear of animals. A child who is at all frightened could make mistakes that result in injury or an even further fear of the animal. First, try to bring your child to an animal shelter or even a friend’s house to get familiar with animals. Don’t force them to pet or get too close to the animal while there; give him/her the ability to observe the animals and then you can set the example on how to interact with pets. Committing to a pet should only be done when you know your child feels completely comfortable.
If your child has been known to neglect their household chores, they’ll most likely do the same to their responsibilities to a pet. Before you can feel confident in getting them a pet, you should teach your children to take their responsibilities seriously. In doing so, they’ll gain some valuable maturity and discipline, and be ready to take care of the pet when it arrives.
Full of Energy
There are some pets that can be very beneficial for energetic children. One instance of this could be to help your child expend their extra energy by running in the park or backyard with a dog that is also very active. As your child gets older, they could take the dog for a walk or light jog so that both the kids and dog benefits.
Respectful to Animals
A child has to understand the proper behavior to exhibit around animals. The acts of hitting and tugging are two examples that should be stressed as not appropriate to do. Other tips that should be explained include: pets should be left alone while they are eating, interacting with the pet should be based on their willingness, and pets are not toys! Your children need to understand that there are some times when they have to give the animal some space and freedom to themselves.
Written by Kim Webb, CEO and Founder of Rockin’ Green Soap
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