If you don’t have the time to take a dog for a walk or change a hamster’s cage and want your kids to share this responsibility, knowing the signs your kids are ready for a pet will help. No matter what animal you adopt, your pet will need attention, care, and affection, and not every child is ready to help out. Have you seen the signs your kids are ready for a pet or are you still waiting?
1. Household Chores
Everyone in the family has their own household chores they are in charge of and if they can do these without having to be asked, it is one of the signs your kids are ready for a pet. Sometimes your kids need to be reminded to take out the trash or put the clean dishes away, so you put together a chart that has helped them do the chores on their own. This same system can work with a family pet as well, however if your kids can’t remember their chores, even with a chart, then they aren’t ready for a pet. It may be no big deal if they forget once in a while to take out the trash, but a dog will go hungry if they forget to feed him or will pee on the carpet if they forget to walk him.
2. They Can Take Care of Themselves
If your child really wants a pet, but hasn’t yet learned how to pick out his/her own clothes, go to the bathroom, or eat without the help of mom or dad, then the signs your kid is ready for a pet are not looking so good! Sure, many people have a dog already before they start planning a family, but if you are making this decision in favor of your kids helping out, you may want to wait until they can first take care of themselves. Once your toddler gets to the age of putting away their toys, brushing their teeth, and going to bed without a fit, then you can consider getting a family pet.
3. Good Behavior
Your little one’s behavior can make or break your decision of getting a family pet. If they struggle with bedtime, nap time, and going to school without you, then you may want to wait until you see improvement. It’s always good to wait until your child’s behavior has settled down before you get a pet. You don’t need the added stress of teaching your child and a dog about good behavior at the same time.
4. They’re Active
This may not be on everyone’s list, but if you think about it, kids who just want to watch TV or play video games all day are not ready for a family pet! If your kids are active, enjoy going for walks or bike rides, and playing outside, then chances are they will love having a pet, especially a dog. On the other hand, if you have older kids who are lazy and don’t do much after they come home from school, you may want to think twice about getting a pet.
5. They Are Caring
Some kids throw their toys around, play rough with their siblings, and just aren’t at the age yet where they know how to be careful with things. However, if your child has passed that stage and has started to learn how to be gentle and caring, then they may be ready for a pet.
6. They Know How to Share
Bringing a dog into the house is just like having another child, which means that your first one needs to be ready to share. Sometimes the family pet may want attention from mom and dad or they may want their own toys to play with. If your child isn’t ready to share the attention and understand that pets have toys too, perhaps your family should wait before bringing a new member of the family home!
7. Saves Money
Saving money is a big deal for children. There are so many things they would like to buy. However, they know that if they save their money, it would help the family buy the pet they’ve been wanting. If they have learned the responsibility of saving money, chances are they are ready for a pet.
How did you know your kids were ready for a pet?