Pets can be a great addition to the family but before making the big decision to bring an animal home, you need to factor in all the responsibilities that come with furry friends. For instance, do you have the space for a pet? Do you have enough money to set aside for pet food, grooming, medical expenses, pet sitters and more throughout the animal’s life? Who is really going to take care of the pet?
All those promises your kids are making now about being responsible for walking the dog or changing the cat’s litter… well, we all know how long those last for, and who well end up having to do them in the end. Yes, having a pet is certainly a responsibility- but it can also be an incredible source of joy.
So which pet is best for your family? Let’s look at the options…
Known as man’s best friend, dogs are great companions, kid-friendly and become part of the family in no time. There are of course many dog breeds out there with very different physical needs. Some dog breeds will need more exercise, others are more prone to health issues. For instance, because of a French bulldog’s snub nose it is predisposed to having respiratory problems. Its small size also makes it prone to back problems.
While it is a commonly held belief that you shouldn’t keep big dogs in small apartments, what really matters is ensuring that the dog, big or small, gets outside for some exercise. To many people’s surprise, Great Danes are one of the most recommended dogs to keep in a small apartment because they have a very low exercise requirement.
Cats are highly independent and autonomous creatures but still require and enjoy lots of love and affection. When it comes to cats and young children, be aware that while a dog may be more apt to a child’s playful tousling, cats are far less tolerant to tail-pulling and the like. Depending on the cat breed, they will exhibit various kinds of behaviour. With a Persian cat in your home, for example you can count on a very affectionate, (very furry) companion who just loves to play.
Many animal experts recommend rodents for children 6 years and up since they may not understand its habits and behaviours and could easily hurt the animal without intending to. There are plenty of friendly rodents to choose from at the pet store like the intelligent and affectionate guinea pig, the friendly-hopping bunny rabbit, (with a high tolerance to excitable children). If you are looking for a more independent rodent, ferrets, chinchillas, hamsters or even chipmunks can make great family friends.
Among the lowest-maintenance pets is the fish. Perhaps not the most affectionate of the species but it can be entertaining just the same. With small children it’s a good idea to start with 1 or 2 fish and your kids when and how much to feed them and clean its aquarium.
Then as your kids get older, they can become more responsible about how many fish they want to take care of.
So which pet will you choose for your home?