There really are few things that can round out a family perfectly that the addition of a furry friend. Not only does it give you and your partner a faithful friend to keep you company but kids develop incredibly strong emotional bonds with pets that can help then develop things like empathy, responsibility, and an understanding how to to look after something else. Of course, as ideal as the image of you and your new family pet might be, you should remember that it’s not just the good stuff that you have to worry about. You also need to think about a lot of the difficulty and responsibility involved in bringing a pet into your family. Having any kind of pet can be pretty challenging, and there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be in the right position to take care of them when they really need it. With that in mind, here are some things that you should think about carefully before you even consider bringing a furry friend into your family.
Do you have the time?
A lot of people have an image in their head of the addition of a pet to their family where the animal just slots in perfectly to their life the way it is now. Of course, that would be perfect, but the truth is that it’s just not the world we live in. If you’re going to bring something like a dog into your family, then you need to be prepared to make some adjustments to your life. After all, there’s no point bringing a pet into your home if you’re never going to be around to look after it. This means that you have to consider things like your working hours when trying to figure out whether or not you actually have the time for a pet. Similarly, if your life is so busy that you never have any energy left at the end of the day, then you’re going to struggle to take something like a dog out for regular walks. Think about yours and your family’s schedule carefully before committing to bringing any new addition into your home.
Do you have the space?
It’s amazing how much one extra body can take a cosy home and make it feel incredibly cramped. You might not think that a pet would take up that much space, but that’s before you’ve got them and your kids running around under your feet while you’re trying to get things done. Not only that but you don’t want to have an animal cramped up in a tiny space where all they really want to do is to be able to stretch their legs. Think carefully about the amount of space that you really have in your home and whether or not you can actually accommodate an extra addition to your family without things becoming so cramped that you’re practically tripping over each other whenever you try and move around. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t own a pet if you live in a smaller home, it’s just something that you need to be prepared to deal with if you want to avoid a whole extra load of stress on a daily basis.
Are your kids responsible enough?
Most parents have an image in their mind of the look of joy on their child’s face when they lay eyes on their brand new best friend for the first. It’s the kind of thing that, for a lot of people, really completes the image of a real family in their mind. However, just like with every aspect of parenting, things are rarely that simple. The truth is that animals and kids can be a pretty difficult combination if you’re not careful and that’s especially true with much younger kids. Children aren’t always the most responsible people in the world, and you need to be able to trust that they’re not going to spend all of their time “playing” with your new pet in a way that’s going to make the poor animal miserable. Not only is that not fair on the pet but it could result in them playing back in a way that could end up with your child getting seriously hurt. Before you bring any kind of animal into your home, think about whether or not you can really trust your child to help you take care of it.
Can you afford it?
Money isn’t usually the first thing that jumps to mind for a lot of people when they think about getting a pet, but the truth is that bringing any new addition into your home can be pretty pricey. Whether it’s a dog that needs things like a collar, a lead, treats from places like Betsy Farms as well as it’s regular food or any animal that requires a tank or terrarium that is not only expensive but requires quite a lot of maintenance. The truth is that any pet can be a pretty hefty financial burden and one that you need to think about incredibly carefully. That last thing you want is to have to give up your new family member because you can’t afford to take care of them.
It might seem like this is a lot to think about just to decide if a pet is right for your family. However, the truth is that far too many people think that they can take on the responsibility of a pet without giving it enough thought. When that happens, you can often end up in a position where you have to give them up which can be very hard on your family as well as be incredibly traumatic for the animal who will have no idea why they’re being pulled away from the place where they’ve been settled. You need to spend a good long time thinking carefully about whether or not bring a pet into your family is the right decision. Of course, if it turns out that you’re not quite ready, don’t worry! That doesn’t mean that you’re never going to be ready. Just take some time to figure out what kinds of adjustments you’ll need to make to your life and then think about it again in a year or two.