5 things to know before getting a pet for your kids

Wednesday is National Kids and Pets Day

Stock image. Munkhbayar Dambajav (Pexels)

In addition to “Are we there yet?” on road trips, arguably the most persistent question kids might have for their parents is “Can we get a pet?”

Whether it’s the decision to get a dog, cat or any other pet, it’s often a source of constant thought and debate in a household.

In honor of Wednesday being National Kids and Pets Day, here are five things to know before deciding on whether to get your kid a pet.

Click here to share a photo of your pet!

1. Does your family have any kind of allergies to specific pets?

It would be a major bummer to bring a pet into a household, only to discover someone in your house will constantly be sneezing or have other allergic reactions to it. Make sure to consult with a doctor to see if there would be any allergies to a specific pet you are considering.

2. Who will be taking care of the pet?

Of course, any kid at first will promise to feed, walk, clean up after, or let a pet outside to do its business even when it’s rainy and chilly outside. But then those moments come, and either there is moans and groans from those same kids, or they conveniently “hide” in their rooms. In other words, parents who get a pet for their kids are going to face the reality quickly that they’ll be sharing a big portion of the responsibility to take care of that pet. As long as parents are comfortable with this, then getting a pet is not a bad idea. Factoring in a child’s age is important also. The older your kid is, the more mature and willing they might be to handle the responsibility of a pet.

3. What will the cost of a pet be?

No doubt, getting a pet won’t be cheap. Expenses such as food, medicine, vet bills, toys, litter or special bedding will have to budgeted for.

To view a recent report on what the typical costs to own a dog are, click or tap here.

To view a recent report on what the typical costs to own a cat are, click or tap here.

4. What kind of pet is best for your family?

If you are a busy family that is gone from the house a lot during the course of a day, maybe a pet that doesn’t require as much responsibility, such as a cat, ferret, hamster or fish, is the best option.

But if someone in the family is around the house for a majority of the day, then getting a dog might be a better option since someone is more readily available to potty train it if need be, let it outside and make sure it’s not chewing up items in a house.

5. What ultimately is the benefit to having a pet?

When it’s all said and done, there has to be good reasons or a purpose for getting a pet to justify the personal and financial sacrifices. Is it for companionship over the course of many years? Is it the desire to provide a living creature a safe and warm home? Is it to teach kids responsibility? Or is it simply for security, especially when it’s talking about getting a dog to help protect the house?

To view more videos on pets and solutions to issues such as pet care, a veterinary shortage and pet abuse, watch below.