There are so many wonderful rewards that come with the addition of a pet into a family but knowing 100% what you’re getting into before the actual adopting of a pet can save some major heartache for you and your children. This post isn’t meant to convince you either way if you’re on the fence, but I do hope it brings to light some issues that need to be covered before you start the adoption process.
It’s hard to argue with hundreds of years of cohabitation! Sharing your home with another animal is a lesson in patience, kindness, and love. Who wouldn’t want to pass on those qualities to their kids? Depending on the type of pet you decide to adopt, they can be relatively easy to take care of (fish) or if your family opts for a pet with more needs (dog), they can be a great way to teach responsibility to kids.
Just the idea of bringing home a puppy sends warm, fuzzy feelings through most of us but once the honeymoon is over, caring for the wants and needs of another being can be exhausting. We’re not just talking about making sure to feed the pet. Most animals need structured exercise (exercise needs based on dog type) , regularly scheduled office visits, and attention. If you and your children already have such busy lives that you’re rarely home, where does that leave space for a healthy relationship with a pet?
Making It Work
That’s it, you have sat down as a family and discussed individual responsibilities for adopting a pet and you’re ready to go for it. Wonderful! Here are some hints on easing the transition and making sure you all stay together as a family.
- Puppies and other young are so sweet but quite a handful! Consider adopting an older animal from your local Humane Society or animal rescue league. Not only do they handle transitions smoother but you’ll be giving a new life to an animal that may not have one in the future.
- Go easy on yourself and your new family member during the beginning. Everything is brand new to your pet, including rules and expectations. Don’t allow them to do things that you’re not going to want them to do in the future, but definitely try to control your frustration and anger as they learn the ropes around your house.
- Do not set unrealistic expectations for you, your children, and your new pet. In a perfect world, your children always remember to feed the dog and the cat never pees in your shoes but that’s not reality. Know that you’re going to have to pick up your children’s slack when it comes to feeding or grooming and if you’re not okay with that, perhaps you should reconsider adopting a pet.
I hope you found these pros and cons to adopting a pet useful and that they opened up a good dialog between you and your family!