Most children will at some point decide they want a pet of their very own to love and take care of – even more so if you’re a pet lover yourself and they’ve grown up around family dogs or cats or any other furry, feathered or scaly friends!
A childhood pet is a wonderful experience and a great way to teach your child about responsibility and compassion for others. A well chosen pet can provide years of joy, as well as plenty of valuable life lessons too.
Before you even start thinking about what pet to choose though, it’s important to talk to your son or daughter about what being a pet owner involves – about the poop scooping, the vet visits, the feeding, the cleaning and so on, so that they are aware it’s not just all about cuddles and fun with their new friend!
It’s also a good idea to set some ground rules about who will be doing what in terms of pet care – unless you’re particularly fond of scrubbing out hamster cages or cleaning out old hay in the rabbit run, make sure your child knows that their pet is a lifelong commitment, even when they’re busy with homework, after school clubs and seeing their friends!
If you’re confident that your child is ready to be a responsible pet owner, it’s decision time! Chances are they may already have an idea of the pet they’d like, but if not (or if you’d like to gently guide them in a different direction!), here are some ideas: