Pet time is not when your child asks for it, but when you can analyze his behavior and draw the conclusion that he’s ready to assume such a responsibility. A pet is not a toy, and once your kid has it, he is the one fully responsible for the integrity, health and happiness of the animal. There are some signs (besides the permanent whine asking for a dog or a cat) that will confirm to you that your child is ready for it and you can take him to the shelter (or pet shop) to adopt (or buy) a furry friend (maybe you were dreaming of something low maintenance, like a golden fish – forget it, kids are not impressed by such beings).
- He doesn’t fret over wake-up time. He’s immediately out of bed, ready to start a new day and he can dress, brush his teeth and present his lovely self to have breakfast without you yelling after him dozens of times.
- He can tie his shoelaces. Don’t laugh… many kids cannot do this, and this shouldn’t be a matter of stress for parents. However, when it comes to walking a dog, he should better do it and do it quick, otherwise how will he survive the pet AND untied shoe laces?
- He knows from memory his parents’ cell phone numbers and his home address. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but walking with a dog on the streets may get him lost. And even if he’s accompanied by a… beast, you still want to make sure that he makes it safe and sound home.
- He knows all the information (or lots of it) regarding the race of the cat or dog he wants to own. He’s fully informed and doesn’t stop bragging about it… that’s part of the commitment!
- He knows where the closest vet to your home is and how a visit for consultations and vaccines can be programmed. This shows interest and determination to make you go and adopt or buy the pet, clearly!
- He’s even more interested in school, homework, tidying up his room and lots of other stuff he usually refuses to do. He may even surprise you by eating all the vegetables on his plate without too much drama.
- He feels good around animals, he’s a natural in taking care of them and no allergies interfere in his relationship with them. This is very important, because no matter how much he wants a dog, if he’s allergic to dogs or if he’s afraid of them (in general), you need to say no. However, a child that behaves normal and can connect instantly with one clearly is ready to own one!
Even if we mentioned it last, health definitely comes first when taking such an important decision which will definitely affect (for better hopefully) your family’s life, while assuming responsibility is second. The decision of adopting or buying a cat or a dog is definitely an intricate puzzle which only you can solve in detail, counting on general principles underlined by us.