This post was contributed by Alex.
I’ve been thinking about getting a pet for a while now. We’re all starting to get settled into our life, and maybe another new addition to the family is a good thing! I think it would be great for the kids to learn how to look after an animal. It would teach them compassion and responsibility as they grow up. Plus, it would be lovely to have even more energy in the house! The only thing I’m wondering is whether we have the time to devote to a pet.
My first instinct is to get a dog. They’re happy, playful, and it the kids would love it! They require plenty of love and attention (not to mention exercise!) But, maybe it’s best to start with something smaller like a house hamster or a rabbit. The children desperately want a horse, and we do live in quite a rural area! I’ll have to think carefully about this one, especially as I hate pet hairs and I’d end up needing an industrial cleaning company to come around weekly!
When I think about the extra happiness and energy in the home, I’m almost convinced to go straight out and buy one. Studies have actually shown that having a pet in the house boosts everyone’s mood and emotions. Playing with a dog, or petting a cat releases endorphins in our brain which make us feel happy and content. We could all use a good smile now and then, and it would be a fun thing to do with the kids.
I’m really keen to help the children learn a sense of responsibility. I think caring for a pet is a great way for them put other living creatures first. Making sure the dog, cat, or horse(!) gets fed and looked after is an essential part of learning responsibility. We could divide up the tasks, and everyone has their own job. I think it’s a good set of skills for children to learn.
There’s just one part of me that is still a little hesitant. At the moment, we’re fixing up our house, and hoping to move back to my old village. I wouldn’t want to take on the care of animal if we can’t give it the love and attention it deserves. Cats can certainly take care of themselves. But a dog or rabbit needs daily attention, exercise, and cleaning.
Health and wellbeing
Naturally, the other big consideration is the health and wellbeing of our pet. I would need to register with the vet, and stock up on all the essentials. Dogs need a good flea prevention kit. Rabbits need a few essential shots. Even ponies need horse worming medicine and other injections! Maintaining the health of an animal is a big job.
Overall, we need to decide if a pet fits into our current lifestyle. Can we work their schedule into ours, and add a new member to the family? It would certainly keep us smiling, and bring us all closer together!
What do you think, readers? I’d love to hear from anyone with a family pet. What have you got, and how did your family adapt to the responsibility?