Your child is desperate to own a dog or cat or any other pet and is constantly asking for one, but you’re puzzled and have a lot of questions in your mind. Whether or not my kid is ready for a pet? What is the best age for my child to have a pet? If not ready, how can I explain it? It’s better to take your time and consider different factors before you make a decision.
Studies show that children living with pets have higher emotional intelligence, i.e. the ability to understand and convey one’s own feelings and perceive others’ feelings. There is something about caring for something that cannot speak your language, which makes a child very perceptive to understanding feelings, actions and moods, even though they may be animals.
A pet is also a constant companion and there are enough studies that show that pets improve the quality of life – they enhance our moods, are a source of exercise, a cure for loneliness, stress busters, and so on.
However, owning a pet brings with it the responsibility of caring for the pet. You need to take care of the pet’s food, daily routines (some of which may require you to get up and get out of the house to walk your pet especially if you have a dog), managing its health/doctor visits, etc. So the pet ends up becoming a family responsibility. Many things will need to be done by adults, but make sure you draw lines of responsibility about pet care with your child. They have to pitch in and do whatever they can manage depending on their age.
Getting a pet is the best thing you can ever do for your child. However, it is a huge undertaking and should not be taken for granted. In order to make pet ownership a positive experience for your child, careful preparation and parental involvement are required.
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