Are you thinking about getting your child a pet or bringing a new life into your family? There are lots of benefits to this option, particularly if you have children. Getting a pet can ensure that you have a brilliant way to teach your kid about responsibility and ensure that they are in charge of looking after the animal or keeping it safe. But, there are downsides too. Pets can be:
- High maintenance
Is that all you need to keep in mind? Actually no, there’s a lot to dissect here so let’s dive right in.
What Pet Do You Want?
There are countless different types of pets from a dog to a fish or even a horse. They all come with different responsibilities, requirements, and costs. They’re also not all going to fit your lifestyle.
We’re going to talk about the city and the country a little further down. But, it should be relatively clear that if you live in the center of the city, you probably won’t be able to get your child a horse. Or, rather you can, but you’ll have to travel about an hour out to care for it which is going to be an expensive, time-consuming nightmare. Conversely, if you live out in a rural area, a pet rabbit might not be the right choice for you. That’s particularly true if you’re keen to keep this little fellow in a hutch outside. It’s always going to attract predators and you could wake up one morning to find it gone.
Cats are another big question mark. Yes, cats exist in the city. But a lot of them get lost, injured and even stolen. Actually, stolen might not be quite the right word. Someone could assume that a wandering cat is a stray and adopt the cutie. Cats aren’t particularly loyal and will generally favor anyone who gives them the most attention.
What about your child’s age? You might be wondering about the right age for a dog. The general rule here depends on the age of the kid and the age of the animal itself. If the child is under six, you should think about adopting a dog that is at least two years old rather than a brand new pup. By two dogs can be a little less temperamental and therefore safer for younger children.
What About Cost?
This is the issue that most people care about the most. Let’s say you want to buy a pup. You could pay up to a thousand or even more for rare breeds for your dream tail-wagger. In terms of monthly costs, a couple hundred should cover you unless you need doggy daycare. If that’s the case, then you need to add a few extra hundred on to cover the cost. This should include insurance – which you definitely want – and food – which can cost more than you think. In terms of the cheapest option, you can opt for a hamster. You can pick these up for a couple dollars and they need very little in terms of supplies. Food, a ball, a cage and you’re all set. The only problem is that they have incredibly short life spans. So, you will either need to get your head around replacing fluffy or teaching your child about the concept of death.
Can Your Kids Look After The Animal?
Again, it depends on the age of your child and the animal in question. An eight-year-old child can probably handle most of the responsibilities of a dog. But there may be issues that you need to sort yourself. For instance, vet visits are probably best left to the adults. You never know what the vet is going to say.
What about a tropical fish? Probably not and you might have to take a lot of the responsibilities here. Tropical fish are well known for needing a highly specific environment to thrive. For instance, an African cichlid tank needs to have the right PH level and remain at the correct temperature. You’ll have to ensure that this is maintained but the kids can help with the care for the animal. For instance, you can think about letting them feed the fish once they know-how.
Should You Invest In Exotic Animals?
Research online and you will find that numerous people seem to keep exotic animals as pets. We don’t have to go too extreme here. Some people, for instance, have pet foxes that look adorable in YouTube videos as you can see below.
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Tempting right? But are these revealing the whole story? The short answer is no because there is a difference between tame foxes and domesticated foxes. Tame foxes are animals that can learn to be around humans and are far more common on the market. Domesticated foxes are genetically bred and will basically act like a dog. This is true for a lot of animals and while tame exotic pets seem like a great idea, they don’t quite live up to expectations. In the case of a tame fox, it’s highly difficult to house train them. They are also very rarely cuddly and will only let you pet them when they feel like it. They don’t even get used to other people and tend to connect with just one person. So, this is a dangerous choice for kids and it is going to restrict your social life.
A lot of people are deceived here because tame exotic animals can seem very friendly, playful and cuddly as pups. But that doesn’t necessarily suggest that they won’t become hostile as time goes on. Most states also have very strict laws against owning exotic animals.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key questions that you need to ask before you bring a pet home to join your family. As you can see, there are a lot of considerations here and many of them will take a significant amount of time to discuss. It’s important that you don’t rush into this decision as it’s going to change your life for quite some time.