Having a pet in your home gives you and your family access to the multiple benefits of pet ownership, including reduced stress, improved mood, and better security. Naturally, welcoming a pet into your home comes with significant responsibility and new chores, though. It is best, therefore, for any family to sit down and have crucial conversations about having a pet to ensure that everyone is well-prepared. Here are a few family conversations that you’ll need to have before getting a pet.
Can The Family Afford A Pet?
The average annual cost of a dog comes to about $380 to $1,170, according to Money Under 30. This amount does not include the one-time associated costs with adoption, vaccinations, startup supplies, microchipping, and the like. If your family is looking into getting a cat, the annual costs can range between about $430 and $870. This amount does not include any emergency costs that may come with a pet that gets injured or ill. Having a frank conversation about the costs of having a pet enables the family to determine if having one at the present time is a good choice. If it isn’t a good time right now, having this conversation opens up the opportunity to involve everyone in pulling together funds to eventually have a pet as a part of the family.
Will Routines Need To Change?
A routine benefits children, and adults feel more secure and in control of their environment, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services. Introducing a pet into a household, especially if it’s a puppy or a kitten, may end up disrupting an established routine. A puppy that’s roughly three to six months old will need to be fed around three times a day, according to the American Kennel Club. Discussing this as a family can help mitigate any big changes for children if parents are going to be the primary caregivers. Talking about this can also help the family decide what sort of age of pet they’ll want to get to avoid disrupting schedules.
What New Tools And Cleaning Methods Will Be Needed?
Shedding is a fairly normal part of a furry pet’s life cycle. Dogs that are normally outside for most of the year tend to shed during the spring and fall, according to Four Paws. As fur may trigger asthma, it’s important that the family is well-equipped to deal with pet hair and other associated messes. Budding pet owners should purchase a suitable broom before they get their pets so they’re fully prepared, particularly if allergies are a problem in your household. The best brooms for pet hair are suitable for carpets and hard floors, and often contain rubber bristles, making them more effective for removing hair than a standard broom. Beyond pet hair, pet owners will also need to contend with pet stains that can be difficult to remove. It also helps to educate yourselves on what sort of cleaning methods need to be learned by everyone who will be involved with pet care. Having this conversation with the family can help you to crowdsource ideas that may have otherwise been overlooked.
Can The Children Help Bear The Responsibility?
Pet ownership should be carefully planned when children are in the picture — especially young children. As the adult in the situation, you must be able to determine whether or not the children would be able to help bear the responsibilities. It would be best to have a conversation with your kids to see if they would be able to join in caring for a pet. It is worth remembering that granting children some responsibility helps to build good character traits, including respect for living things and an understanding of the natural life cycle. It is also good to introduce the idea of setting a schedule for who will be in charge of certain pet chores on certain days. This helps to set order and give everyone a shared responsibility for the family pet. The best fit breed helps a lot, like the these top 10 smartest dog breeds to consider.
What Parts Of The Home Will Need Changes?
Responsible pet owners will need to suitably pet-proof their homes. Much like making sure your home is appropriate for young children, you also need to make sure that your home is suitable for a pet. As changes can be jarring, it is important that the family sits down and talks about any changes that will need to happen — like reinstalling any baby gates or rearranging the location of any beloved toys. It is crucial that you impress upon children that pets like dogs and cats will eventually explore their surroundings, and can destroy what they get their teeth and claws into. Having this conversation can suitably prepare children for being part of keeping the house suitable for pets.
What Are The General Do’s And Don’ts?
A pet, while the object of joy, is a sentient being with its own moods and personalities. This is why it is important to sit down together as a family and discuss the general do’s and don’ts about the pet. Young children may be too energetic around rescue dogs, and this could cause them to lash out. The same applies to younger dogs that are still building their security. Children may also not understand that pets also need their space. It helps if the family agrees to sit through a class online or a video that teaches some methods of proper pet care. Talking as a family can help children offer their own ideas about the boundaries they may have thought of keeping with the family pet, such as keeping them out of their rooms, or certain times of day when they would like to keep the pet away from them. The point is to get everyone on the same page about what is good for the pet and for the family as a whole.
The joys of pet ownership are tempered by the weight of responsibility that comes with caring for a furry companion. If you and your family wish to enjoy the unceasing loyalty and affection that pets are known to give, you must be suitably prepared. This is why it is important to have key conversations on important pet-related topics so everyone will have a better idea of what’s involved. That way, when your chosen pet has arrived, everyone will be on the same page, and you can be confident that you’re giving your pet the best environment possible.