How much is that doggy in the window? Woof Woof!
Are you familiar with this song?
Yes, you guessed it right!
Once again, the jolly and merry season of giving is here again!
Have you gotten your presents ready, or are you one of those (like yours truly, and not exactly proud of it) who hunt for gifts at the very last minute?
Every year during this time of the year, I never fail to stare at the endless rows of toys at Toys R’Us and wish I can pick a random toy for my kids. And every year, many parents take this opportunity to present their children with the right family pet, or so I hope.
Drop your comments below on how you decide on the types of gifts you give to your loved ones! You’ll be an angel and probably save my poor overworked brain cells here.
Back to today’s objective, do you know that every year, pets are part of the list as a Christmas gift too?
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Many children love how cute baby animals are and honestly, who can blame them? We all know how cute a kitten looks when she meows for attention, or how cute that little wagging tail looks on an excited puppy. But what happens as they get older? Who will be responsible for their daily needs and training? how about giving our furry friends a permanent home to live in that is filled with love and laughter?
If you are one of those parents who have been pondering over whether to bring the right family pet into your home, well, you want to continue reading this post.
Sharing your life with a pet can bring tons of joy and endless benefits to your family. But before you finalize your decision, here are some points to keep in mind when choosing the right family pet!
1. Your Child’s Developmental Stage.
Wanting to get your child a pet as a companion is not a bad idea. However, it would be more advisable to wait till he/she is more mature and able to handle and care for the animal. Leaving a young child unsupervised may bring about risks and danger to him instead. There are circumstances when your child might unintentionally provoke the pet during play, and risk getting bitten or scratched.
Before searching for the right family pet, share with your child the needs and responsibilities involved in caring for their new furry friend. You can share the knowledge through books, or bring your child to visit a relative who already has a pet at home. Volunteering at pet shelters is another fruitful way to let your child understand and experience the responsibilities involved. The key importance is to let your child experience first-hand caring for a pet.
2. Pet’s Temperament & Allergies.
Depending on the type of pet, some have easy-going temperaments while others require a firm and authoritative owner.
Allow your child to interact with the pet before deciding on which type of animal can be the right family pet for you.
If you and your family agree that the dog makes the right family pet, do intensive research on the type of dog breeds that are suitable for your family’s needs and lifestyle. Some dogs adapt well to kids and small apartments, while other dogs in the hunting dog breed will do better with a large open field environment where they will have sufficient exercise.
Another crucial point to consider: Do you or your child have any allergies?
Does fur make you sneeze? Will you break out in hives from pet dander?
If you are, then perhaps having a furry friend may not make the right family pet. Depending on the severity of your allergy, alter your choices accordingly. Keep these characteristics in mind when selecting your right family pet, or you may consult the shop attendant before making any decisions.
3. Time Required For The Pet.
Understanding the needs of the pet is one of the critical factors when deciding which furry (or non-furry) family pet to bring home.
Does the pet need a lot of attention? Do you have a secondary caregiver for the family pet if you want to leave for a holiday? Pets like dogs and cats have higher maintenance requirements. They need sufficient exercise, grooming, food, and baths. On the other hand, pets like fish, birds, hamsters require minimal care and may be a better family pet for younger children or busy families.
If you are all set to bring your right family pet home, ensure that you can spend time with it. Puppies and kittens cannot be left alone for long hours unless you want to come home to a deconstructed living room. You can be sure Cooper will be able to show you (proudly) the insides of your sofa.
4. Pet’s Affordability and Living Expenses
An average dog or cat will live for about 12-15 years thus, having a family pet is another financial commitment that you need to see through.
In your spreadsheet, include these costs to your budget:
- Health Supplements
- Grooming Accessories
- Trips to the vet for regular check-ups
Some pets may be more expensive to look after. For example, larger pets require a greater amount of food, and some breeds require frequent grooming. Certain breeds may also be more prone to diseases which means more visits to the vet for check-ups, and you might want to consider getting your pet insurance to cover some of these costs. If you think this may be a potential strain on your finances, you might want to look into having a new hobby instead.
5. To Adopt or Adopt Not?
Have you heard of “Adopt, Don’t Shop!”? Countries everywhere are filled with strays and abandoned pets, and my little red dot, Singapore, is no different. Many innocent dogs and cats in the animal shelters will eventually be forced to end their lives through medical means to make space for other strays.
After doing your research, your financial spreadsheet, and everyone in the family is ready to welcome little Cooper, why not make the cute canines or felines in the shelters as your right family pet? You might meet the one who will melt your heart as mine did!
There are various pet shelters, and one such animal shelter is BFF Rescue Dogs. The founder of BFF, Ray, puts in his best effort to rescue and rehome stray dogs and cats. He ensures that all the four-legged are in the best of health before handing them to their new owners. Not only does Ray and his dedicated volunteers make certain that both humans and Fido are comfortable around one another, they go the extra mile to help the new family be ready for their new canine.
Adopting will helps to give a second chance of life to these strays and abandoned pets, and you can be sure these pets will repay you through their unwavering affection!
Here are some of the other pet shelters you can explore:
Most of these animals in pet shelters will be screened and vaccinated too!
Another benefit of adopting from a shelter is that there is a higher chance for you to meet your ideal Fido. Before meeting the dogs in the shelter, you will be asked about your lifestyle and the personality traits that you are looking for in a dog. The staff will then introduce you only to those four-leggeds that better suit your needs and lifestyle. In other words, they make it easier for you to choose your new family furkid.
Ultimately, deciding to bring home a new member into your family is not an easy decision. It is a long-term commitment, and the responsibilities do not come in a manual book.
I must say that it was not easy when my dog was a puppy. Cleaning up while she was still toilet training, and the mess she made when she’s throwing a tantrum can be frustrating. Yes, puppies and kittens are like toddlers and they have their moments too! I wish someone had given me a heads up.
But one thing for sure, I can never imagine what it will be like without my dog and cat. I can not be more thankful that my boys get to grow up with pets in their lives.
Regardless of the right family pet for you, do your homework properly, pour your limitless love into them and you will have a loyal friend for life.
Modern Mom Life wishes all my lovely readers out there A Wonderful & Merry Xmas and have a jolly good time with your family! 💖