Your family has been begging for a pet for weeks or even months now and you’ve finally decided to consider welcoming a pet into your family. We understand how difficult a decision it is to make and that there are many factors to keep in mind when weighing your options. Of course, families need to determine if it is the right time to bring a pet into the household. Owning a pet can be challenging and time-consuming, so a family must also weigh the drawbacks versus the benefits.
When it comes to owning a pet, there are many benefits, including some a family may not even consider.
- Companionship: Owning a pet offers family members companionship and unconditional love. Going for a walk, playing in the backyard or simply just enjoying a snuggle session while reading a book or watching a movie are just a few of the many activities that your pet can enjoy with you. The constant companionship a pet provides can also have a positive impact on a person’s emotional and physical well-being.
- Active Lifestyle: Research shows that owning a pet can create a more active lifestyle for your family. There are so many activities that a pet can be a part of that encourage more physical activity in your family’s daily lives. Taking your pet for a run or walk, playing with them outside, or simply giving them a bath can help your family become more physically active.
- Responsibility: Having a pet encourages your children to learn about responsibility. Though some children may be a little young for certain tasks, all children can take part in helping with taking care of the family pet in one way or another. A pet will need to continually be taken care of – from bathing, being fed and given water, to simply just being played with. Being given a responsibility will help your child learn about accountability and will also help them develop a higher self-esteem because they will feel accomplished.
- Improving mental, physical and emotional well-being: Research shows that animals are very instinctive and can tell if you are having a bad day or under the weather. Though pets have a tendency to show love and affection all the time, you may notice they show a little extra when you need it the most. Research also shows that owning a pet can reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Even if a family understands all of the benefits of owning a pet, there are still many other factors to consider when trying to decide if it is the right time to welcome a pet. Every family’s situation is going to be unique and there is no “one size fits all” guide for determining if a family is ready for a pet.
Here are a few factors for families to keep in mind:
- Ready to Take on the Responsibility – Owning a pet will require a lot of time and energy. Pets will always need to be taken care of and it is important that your family is ready to make that commitment.
- Being Financially Prepared – Preparing for the different responsibilities of owning a pet also include being financially prepared. Depending on what pet your family is interested in getting, costs you may need to consider include food, toys, habitat needs (cages, tanks, etc.), veterinarian visits and shots, grooming and training.
- Finding the Right Pet – Though a family may have a dream pet that they’ve always wanted, it may not be the best animal to have in the household at this time. It is very important that when considering to welcome a pet into the family, it is one that will be a good fit for each family member and your family’s unique circumstance.
What is most important to your family when it comes to deciding if it is the right time to bring a pet into the family?