Having a pet is a fun-filled and rewarding experience for the entire family. However, as parents, you should be prepared on several fronts before you commit to bringing a pet home.
By Parama Gupta
Children often long for a pet. Pets can be good companions for children. Also, children learn to be responsible by taking care of pets. But if you are seriously considering buying a pet for your child, there are some important factors you need to consider before you make up your mind. Here’s a list:
Having a pet involves feeding it regularly, being mindful of its diet restrictions, regularly visiting the vet for vaccinations, taking it for walks, bathing it, cleaning up when it defecates until you train it, and so on. Bring a pet home only when you are both mentally and financially prepared to fulfil these responsibilities. Ensure that your child is trained to take up these responsibilities along with you. Moreover, you need to consider whether there is enough space in your house to accommodate the pet. Keep in mind also that there will be times when you go away on vacations. You will have to arrange temporary accommodation for your pet at those times.
It is important to understand the temperament of the animal you choose to bring home. Is it friendly? Or, is it of a ferocious nature? Choose an animal that is highly domesticated, as your child is going to be in its company for long stretches of time, sometimes without your supervision. While dogs are popular as pets in general, you need to find out about specific breeds and their friendliness to humans.
Make sure the animal you bring home is properly vaccinated and does not have any infections. Visit the vet to understand any potential threats to the long-term health of the animal and what you need to do to avoid these threats. You also need to be aware of the threats the pet may pose to human health. Find out if your child runs the risk of developing allergic reactions to the pet. Young children can be especially vulnerable to animals. So, it is better to be sure of your child’s fitness by running allergy tests.
When you bring a pet home, you need to make sure that you do not violate any of its rights. It’s a good idea to find out about the animal welfare laws of the country, so that you don’t breach any of them unknowingly. Follow the procedure of registration laid down by your municipal corporation and get all necessary paperwork done. Also, make sure it is not illegal to own the animal you choose to have as a pet.
Once you are prepared for the above, you can bring home the pet your child has been longing for, and watch him forge a strong bond with a new friend.
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