Ready For A New Family Member?

by - May 17, 2019

If your kids have been asking you for a pet for ages, you might be in the midst of getting some research done. What about space? Cost? And the fun factor?

It’s an exciting time, the moment you decide to extend your family. It is essential to know which pet will make the best addition to your family in advance.

It is essential to look at your schedule - who is home and when. Logically anything in a cage won’t need as much work, but it will need a deeper clean to keep the cage floor clean. Cats, more often than not, like to be alone. Their own company means a lot to them. With a dog, you’ll likely need to book classes and be available for training too.

Everything will suddenly become very real for you, the more you look into it. If you have a friend, who owns any of the pets, you are considering then ask if you can house sit for a day with the animal. It will give you a clearer idea of if that is the right pet for you.

And, as always, the kiddos will tell you that they will, of course, no matter what, be the sole caretaker for their new buddy. But actually, you’re going to be shouldering most of the responsibilities.

And no matter what - remember, there will be extra poop!

Photo by Sophie Elvis on Unsplash

Cats

Cats are wonderfully independent creatures. They like to come and go when they please and enjoy companionship. They’ll sleep lazily where ever they find the most comfortable - including on you. They like a full food bowl at all times, so that is why you will see so many cat memes involving a 3am wake-up call for food. If you get lucky, your cat might be an outside pooper. If not, there needs to be someone on hand to clear out the litter tray regularly. They are a little easier to leave for a few hours, and even overnight than dogs are.

The downside is they are little more likely to bite or scratch when they aren’t happy. So the kids will have to accept that the kitten that they choose might not be a snuggly one in a few months time.

Dogs

It takes time to find the right dog match for you. You might think you want a bigger breed but find that they come with a lot more needs than a smaller one. The breed matters too. Some breeds need to be walked often and get bored (destructive) when they don’t have any activities. All dogs can be well behaved when appropriately trained, dog etiquette classes are a great idea too. But just like people, they have their own personalities.

While the cute puppy loved to be picked up and play tug of war, the grown-up one might like to be left alone for a few hours for long naps. Dogs are beyond wonderful, they provide companionship, love, and are perfect for long walks. Remember that you’ll need to get puppy shots early on and stay on top of the boosters to keep your friend safe.

For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog. - Roger Caras

Hamster

A ball of entertaining fluff. They sleep for most of the day, but if you handle them often enough, they begin to enjoy it. They tend to wake up and play the night away though, so if you are night owls, you’ll get the best from this pet.

It is worth remembering that they have a really short lifespan, usually around 3 years, so work better for slightly older children who are able to process death a little bit more straightforwardly. They can nip when scared and may be very wriggly, making it difficult for smaller children to hold. Their cages also might get a bit whiffy if not cleaned often enough.

Fish

They are pretty much the go-to first pet for most kids. They are easy to look after, if one dies, then you can replace them without any issues if you don’t want to have the death talk yet). They are a great starter pet for kids to remember to put feeding the fish on their to-do list, as well as helping to clean out their tanks. You could go for cold water, or tropical fish depending on your budget and space. Typically, if you don’t have enough time for dogs and cats, but want to have a pet in the home fish might just be perfect.

They are beautiful to watch swim around the tank, the bubbles and water trickling noises are very calming too.

Rabbit

These little social hoppers are great pets. They can be kept in a hutch in the garden, or you can house train them. If you do intend to keep them in the house, then you’ll need to bunny-proof the home in advance of their arrival. They love to chew wires and, well, pretty much anything else too.

As they grow, they will require more space, and much like dogs and cats, they will need somewhere peaceful to go to that there are no kids. Their cages will need regular cleaning, and they are very active.




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