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5 Tips on Adopting a Pet for Your Child

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The decision to adopt a pet for your child can be one that involves a lot of thought. Many factors go into this decision-making process, including the age of your children, their levels of responsibility and what type of pet would best compliment your family and household. The following tips will help parents with this decision, as well as provide information on teaching children to properly care for their pets.

1. Get Input from all Family Members
In order to ensure interest from each member of your family, have an open discussion on pet adoption. If decisions regarding pet type or breed aren’t unanimous, consider a family vote.

2. Take Your Lifestyle, Home and Children’s Ages into Consideration
Your children’s ages are extremely important when it comes to adopting a pet. Taking care of an animal requires a good amount of knowledge and responsibility, so decisions regarding type and breed of pet should be made accordingly. For example, for very young children, a pet that requires little care and maintenance is ideal. Cats and small dogs that don’t need lots of exercise are both great options for families with young children.

Your home and lifestyle should be factors in your decision-making process as well. For example, make sure the animal you choose will compliment both the size and location of your home. When it comes to lifestyle, busy families who are constantly on the go may benefit from an animal that doesn’t require a lot of attention or maintenance.

3. Do Your Research
Lots of research is necessary in making sure your adoptive animal will fit nicely into your household. Good places to research different types and breeds of animals are blogs, forums and other online spots. These sites will inform prospective adoptive families of all the personality and physical traits of a particular breed, as well as provide information regarding exercise needs, health concerns, etc.

4. Practice Makes Perfect
It’s important for children to become accustomed to their new roles of pet owners as early as possible. Before your family adopts a pet, children should know the ins and outs of taking care of an animal. For example, in order to prevent problems in the future, young children should be made aware of the dangers of things like rough play, disturbing a dog while it’s eating or sleeping, pulling tails, etc. One great idea is pet-sitting for a friend or family member prior to adopting a pet of your own. This will give both children and adults first-hand experience in caring for a pet.

5. Delegate Responsibilities
In order to ensure equal responsibility among family members, duties must often be delegated by a parent. One good way to do this is through a chart or other daily reminder that divvies up the responsibilities of caring for your pet. Chores such as walking, bathing, feeding, etc. may seem less overwhelming if each member of the family pitches in to help. This can also encourage bonding between each family member and the pet, which can increase happiness all around!

This post was provided by Lola Cavanah, a child care specialist. She recommends to parents to go to pet stores Toronto to adopt a pet for their children, escpecially Perry’s Pet Mart.

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