Children and Pets: What You Should Know

For most families, the reason they get a pet is the incessant pleas of their doe-eyed kids. For others,  the pet was there first, but the want for real children (pun intended) brought an addition.  Whichever table you fall under, there are certain things you should know before mixing a pet and a child together. 

Allergies

If you have an allergy, we’re sure you can relate to how destabilizing they can be, and you’re an adult. Imagine a child going through that, and they sweeten the deal by not being able to properly voice out their concerns. So it’s up to you as a parent to have an investigative mind. 


When it comes to pet allergies, it’s actually a biomolecule found in the fluids and on the body of the pet that the patient is allergic to. So how do you know when your child has a pet allergy? Be on the lookout for itchy skin, nasal congestion, and coughs. 

Choosing The Right Pet

It’s no secret toddlers don’t have the survival capabilities of an adult, in fact, one might say they don’t sense danger. The behavior we described above does not mix well with animals. This is why you have to get a “kid-proof” pet. If you like raising venomous snakes, it’s time to ditch that hobby. 

 If you wanted to get a dog, and have an 8-year-old child, you’d be better off getting a puppy. That way it grows along with the child and they form a bond. This is better than the alternative of getting a grown dog with little knowledge of its temperament. 

Whichever pet you have in mind, just ensure you’ve performed adequate research about it. Most importantly, get something that can’t harm your child in that crucial bonding stage (we did say something about puppies). Small pets like hamsters and rabbits can work if you’re into that.

Be Prepared For The Responsibility

Taking care of a pet is challenging, and taking care of a child alongside is no walk in the park. Even if your kid tells you with the most honest face, “I’d clean up after the new pet”, you’d most likely be the one with the broom. 

You’d have to feed the pet daily, which means re-working your schedule if you don’t work from home. These days there are automatic feeders that can make this job easier. Pets also need to be washed, or you’re left with a smelly home. Animals like dogs and cats need regular exercise or they’d channel that energy toward property damage. 

Don’t Forget The Bill

Caring for animals isn’t cheap,  and the bill goes up as size and type change. For instance, it’s going to be cheaper to raise a chinchilla as opposed to a horse. It’ll be wise to calculate what it costs you yearly to keep your pet and ensure your pockets can handle it.  There’s no point getting a pet you can’t take care of. 

You’d be spending money on a handful of things, namely:

  • Food
  • Clothing (as some pets need additional covering
  • Health bills
  • Housing (if a special shelter needs to be made

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