Pets enrich family life. Children who grow up with animals learn to take responsibility. But at what age can children look after the animals and which animal is suitable for the offspring? Before you enter the pet store, you should always clarify some questions.
Why a pet
Most children love animals. Sooner or later the desire for a cuddly playmate develops automatically. Super, a pet promotes the development of the child, because it learns to observe rules and take responsibility. In this way children strengthen their self-confidence. In addition, they must actively deal with the little roommate and learn incidentally much about nature.
Allegedly, children who grow up with pets should do better at school. Such undifferentiated statements are not proven and to be treated with caution. A pet is not a panacea; on the contrary, many parents find that children often lose interest in the little creature.
The age question
Small animals are relatively easy to care for. Primary school children can take good care of them if the parents share responsibility. Younger children can take on individual tasks such as feeding. From 12 years, children are developed so far that they can take care of an animal alone. Large animals like a dog or a horse, however, need the support of the family.
In general, parents should be aware that the primary responsibility for the pet lies with them. Some animals still live when their little ones have long since left home.
Think about a pet in peace
When children wholeheartedly want a pet, the whole family should think about it in peace. Animals depend on people, they need a lot of time, attention and they also cost money. Often the work gets stuck with the parents. You should first clarify these important questions for yourself:
- Are there allergies to animals in the family?
- Which animals may you keep in your home? Small animals are usually allowed, but for a dog you need the consent of the landlord.
- Before you buy an animal, all family members should express their wishes and concerns.
- Do you have enough space to set up the cage? An animal should always be kept in an appropriate manner.
- How much time do you want to invest and who will take over which tasks: feeding, cleaning the cage, going for a walk?
- Who cares about the animal on vacation. Would the grandparents or friends take care of the animal?
- How much money do you want to invest in the new roommate? Consider the cost: You must pay the animal, the cage or collar, the food and the vet.
Bird or dog as a pet?
If parents have little experience with animals, they usually opt for the purchase of a small animal such as hamsters, guinea pigs or rabbits. The costs are low and the care manageable. However, these animals, especially the hamster, are nocturnal animals that like to snooze in peace during the day. Also, they are not cuddly animals that bind tightly to humans. Another disadvantage: some of these animals are usually not very old.
Dog and cat are better than pets. They build a relationship with humans. However, they need much more attention.
Some pets like turtles or parrots get very old and can even survive their owners.
A pet from the pet store or the shelter?
Before you decide on a pet, you should look at the pet dealer. Be advised in detail and read also literature about the desired animal. If you buy the animal from a breeder, ask about it carefully. If he wants to earn money quickly, the animals are usually overbred and not infrequently disturbed.
Also stop by the shelter. Most employees know the behavior of the animals closely and can recommend you an animal that fits well with your family.
Stress with the pet
Children can not yet foresee that the care of an animal overwhelms them. If the charm of the new is gone, the annoying cage cleaning is gladly forgotten. Explain to your child that it has taken responsibility for the animal and must now endure. Relieve your child and take care of it, if it deals extensively with the animal.
Maybe you can take care of a pet for some time. Then your child can try out to see if it's fun to care for an animal.
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