Many families have pets, the most common being cats and dogs. Children are particularly drawn to pets and quickly form a bond with them. Their sense of responsibility is aroused, and you’ll probably find grooming them, feeding or taking them out to play. Choosing a family pet should therefore take in consideration that the children will likely interact with them very often. You should ensure your child’s safety and health, and make sure that you will be able to take care of the pet alongside the baby. In that regard, here’s a short guide with helpful insight on choosing a family pet:
IS YOUR CHILD OLD ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND AND CARE FOR THE PET?
Though you shouldn’t expect the child to be the one to take care of the family pet, they should be old enough to bond with it. Getting a newborn a dog would not be an excellent idea because they won’t understand what it is or what to do with it. A toddler, on the other hand, will have a great time playing with a puppy and will develop a stronger sense of responsibility when they are around the pet. They start learning to play responsibly and not act violently towards it.
IS THE PET’S TEMPERAMENT SAFE FOR YOUR CHILD?
When adopting a pet, especially a cat or a dog, it is essential to know that it can tolerate the children and everyone else without violent reactions. This is why it is very recommendable to get your pet from a reputable breeder. They will provide a mild-mannered pet, especially when they know that there are children to be considered.
Adopting from a shelter is not a bad idea either, but keep in mind that most of the animals are strays that are being rehabilitated. Some shelters manage to fully transform animals from angry street cats and dogs to mild-mannered pets that will do well in a family. Sometimes, however, some animals don’t really change their nature. Mainly because of their inability to trust anyone. Cats are usually the main culprits here, so be sure that you are not bringing home an angry far ball that won’t hesitate to produce some claws and work them at the slightest inconvenience. Some pets, when anxious, will rip apart your toddler’s hats and caps as well as any other clothes and shoes available.
Generally, older animals are considered a good choice because most of them are usually very well mannered.
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY ALLERGIES TO ANIMALS?
Allergic reactions to animals are surprisingly more common than you’d think, and some are never discovered until the said animal is very close. Some people, for instance, are allergic to cat dander and will sneeze continuously if they come in contact with cat fur. Others can’t stand certain breeds of dogs. These allergic reactions should be a significant consideration. Some people think they will get used to it, but the reality is that these animals could kill you without laying a paw on you. If you have allergic reactions, don’t wait to adjust.
DO YOU HAVE TIME TO CARE FOR THE PETS?
Pets are very demanding when it comes to time and attention. You can’t expect them to take care of themselves. Cats and dogs are particularly needy and will require you to attend to them at least three times per day. Dogs need to be groomed often, especially if they shed a lot, otherwise there will be hair all over your baby’s onesies and clothes. They need to be walked every day so they can stay fit and happy. You’ll need to take the pets to the vet if you suspect that they are sick or have any health issues. You will need to follow up on vaccination, neutering and cleaning. Some dogs need to bathe often, others occasionally. They will need to be fed well, and their water bowl to be refilled and refreshed often. Someone will need to play with them every day to make sure that their energy isn’t directed towards your shoes or furniture.
There are just some of the general things – pets have unique needs. Before you adopt a pet, make sure that you have time, energy and resources to do this for them. Neglecting animals is not only inhuman but is a federal offence that could get you on the wrong side of the law and PETA.
IS YOUR SELLER A REPUTABLE BREEDER?
It would be best if you got your pets from reputable breeder or seller. This is because shady breeders will sell you pets that will develop plenty of problems later because of improper breeding. You’ll end up spending more at the vet than you did for their purchase, and every single trip will leave your kids devastated.
A good breeder will also be able to provide good-tempered family pets that will adjust well with no fear of bites and scratches. Such pets will be ideal if you have a baby or toddler in the house. A reputable breeder is also sensitive to animals, and you won’t have to be concerned about animal cruelty.
HOW TO RESPOND TO ANIMAL BITES
If your child or another family member gets bitten by the pet, here’s how to handle the situation:1. Wash the bite with soap and water as gently as you can.2. Grab the first aid kit. If the bite is bleeding, take some sterile cloth or gauze and put some pressure on it.3. Wrap the bite in a clean cloth and seek medical attention. This is especially necessary if the child is behind on tetanus shots, the animal has not received rabies shots, or the animal has been acting strangely.
In conclusion, choosing a family pet requires many considerations, mostly the safety of the family members. They should not trigger allergic reactions and should be friendly. You should also make sure that you have the ti9me and resources required to take care of the animals without straining.
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