When I was growing up, our family pet was a dog my parents had before I was born. I don’t remember much about the dog growing up as I think I was only around seven years old when he passed away at sixteen years old. A few years later we adopted a stray cat that always seemed to be outside the front door wanting to come in, and the cat stayed with us well into my teenage years. Having children myself, I wondered whether we would introduce pets into the house. When Miss A was born, we already had Fidget, but when is the right age to get a family pet?
Which Pet Should You Choose?
Getting a family pet opens up the question of which pet to get. When my eldest daughter was small we toyed with the idea of getting a rabbit, but then we decided that as it would live in the garden, it may get forgotten about by my daughter, so we opted for a hamster, knowing that the care of a hamster was easier than a cat or a dog. We wanted to introduce her to a pet to help her understand how to look after it, without the commitment of a cat or dog at the time as we didn’t have the space. The supplies you need will also vary from pet to pet. It might be a good idea to take a look at Monster Pet Supplies to check out their offers.
Teaching Children To Care For Pets
We deliberated quite a lot even getting a hamster. We wanted our daughter to understand how to care for the pet, but also knowing that hamsters have a life span of around three years, we wanted her to understand that her pet wouldn’t be around forever. It was a good way to introduce the discussion that not everything can last forever, and how to deal with losing something you care for.
A hamster we decided was low maintenance, and lets face it I knew it would be me cleaning the cage out and making sure there was food and water. Our hamster came to live with us when my eldest daughter was around three years old if I remember correctly
When The Novelty Wears Off
Kids often really want said pet and then the novelty wears off after a while and the caring of the pet is left to the parents. I have always encouraged Miss A especially to help with Lola and Fidget, putting their food and water out, as well as helping to walk Lola on the lead.
Creating A Bond
Fidget came to live with us when he was a kitten and my eldest daughter was seven years old. She has always had a bond with him, and was very upset when he went missing for all that time last year. Miss A arrived into the home when Fidget was five, but he adapted to a new baby very well. There is always the worry that the cat won’t take to a new baby, but we made sure he couldn’t sneak into her room, and often now, I can go into Miss A’s room and Fidget is happily curled up on her lap.
As Lola arrived into our family when Miss A was seven years old, we were told that it was a great age to introduce a dog into the house as Miss A would grow up with the dog. They definitely have a special bond, one you can read a bit more about if you’d like to pop over to Monster Pet Supplies Blog where Fidget and Lola have been featured as pets of the month.
Understanding The Loss
When Fidget went missing last year, we were all upset and it seemed to hit Miss A quite hard. She’s a sensitive soul and it took a while for her to understand that Fidget wasn’t coming back (or so we thought at the time). Her face when I told her he had been found was a picture and I will remember it forever. Having pets in the home with children can be difficult when they get ill, old or go missing and you have to be prepared for the questions that arise with this. Often we’re grieving ourselves for the loss of our pet at the same time as having to explain to children.
When Is The Right Age To Get A Family Pet?
As we have had varying pets over the years and at different stages of the children’s lives, I can comfortably say that there is no right age to get a family pet. There are definitely factors that you should consider such as what pet to get. I personally wouldn’t get a puppy at the same time as welcoming a baby into the home as I don’t believe you can devote enough time to both. If you have the time to devote to a young animal to train and nurture well, then I believe you will have a loving and happy pet. Both Lola and Fidget are so soppy in their nature and I do think that’s got a lot to do with how much time we have spent with them as well as choosing the correct breeds.