Adopting a Pet for Your Family

So your family has decided they are ready for a pet. Where to start and where to begin on your search is the question. Bringing home a new pet doesn’t affect only one person it affects the whole family.  Everyone should be involved in the process.  Do you have any other pets in your house, does anyone have allergies, and will someone be around to take care of this pet. Miss Kelli discussed this on The Rhode Show. Watch it here!

Things to consider before adopting a new family pet

  • Commitment – Is your family ready for a life-long commitment or at least for many fun-filled years of care.  Adopting a pet is a big commitment!  Is your family ready to dedicate the time, lots of care and energy and open their hearts to love a new family member?  It’s not going t be easy but it certainly can be a life altering change to your family dynamics…for the better.
  • Financial Responsibility – A cuddly new pet if often what we think about when adopting a new pet but we do need to consider that there is a financial responsibility that comes along with your new bundle of joy.  New pet owners need to remember that they will be responsible for providing food, trainings, toys, medical bills and any state or local licensing requirements, just to name a few.
  • Health Questions – Please don’t forget to consider any family health issues or restrictions before you even consider the adoption route.  For instance, are there any allergies, fears or physical limitations that would prohibit you from properly caring for your new pet.
  • Time and Space – This is an easy one. Do you have the time and space to properly house, train and care for your pet as it should be cared for?  Do you live in a small apartment or rent from a landlord that prohibits pets…then you need to think twice about adding a new pet to your family?  Be realistic in what you and your family are capable of doing to properly care for and nurture a new adoptive pet.
  • Do the Research – Because pet adoption is such a huge commitment, but certainly worthwhile, please do your due diligence and research an up standing adoption agencies in your local towns or states before you begin.

What kind of pet do you want to own? You should do some research on how long the animal is going to live.

  • – Dogs can live 10-15 years
  • – Cats can live up to 20 years
  • – Horses can live up to 30 years
  • – Some birds will have to be included in your will
  • Once you have narrowed down the kind of animal you and your family think is best or you want you need to ask some more questions.
    • Look at your living space is it too small; do you live in a high-rise or have a back yard for this animal?
    • Do you have enough room for this animal?
    • Can you and your family give this animal what it needs?
    • Don’t forget about vet cost, food, and other expenses.

Teach your child how to care for the pet.

  • As a parent even though you want to teach your child how to care for this pet, you need to be prepared to also be the main care taker.
  • – Encourage your child to be part of the process.
  • – Picking out the bed, crate or cage.
  • – Talking about how it will need to be walked or taken outside frequently, or if it’s a bird or guinea pig that the cage will need to be cleaned.
  • – Picking out names
  • This will show your child how to take responsibility for this new pet and be prepared that it is not just to play with.

If your family has decided on a dog, you will also need to look at what is the best dog for children and the worst.

5 best dogs for children

  • Beagle- has a great happy go lucky friendly personality. Love to play and there playful personality is what makes this a great kid dog.
  • Pug- this outgoing dog is small bread that is great with children. It’s small size will not knock over your child and is very loyal.
  • Labrador- This breed is very familiar and has been a favorite in the US for many years.  They are patience by nature will not mind a child hanging on them and is the most loyal dog you will have.
  • Golden Retriever- This breed is very similar to the lab. They have a bit more energy than the lab. Very trainable if done early and can learn over 200 commands. Very good with children and also a loyal dog.
  • Standard Poodle- Yes, this breed is very good for a family. Especially if there are allergies in the home. They are very patience, easy to potty-train, and highly intelligent. This breed is a family dog instead of a one owner dog. They love to play for hours on end.

5 Worst dogs for children

  • Dalmatians- These are beautiful dogs but are known not to be around little ones. They can be easily startled and bite. Mostly because these breeds are known to go deaf.  Do your research before buying this breed if you have little ones in the home?
  • Chihuahua. This breed is not good for young children or children to be around. A very nervous breed which will nip or bite children.  Because of its small size children will want to pick it up.
  • Pit-Bull- This dog can be very aggressive. When they bite they go for the throat and don’t let go. Being around small children is not advised.
  • Rottweiler- the years between 1979-1998 this breed held the 2 top breed of fatal bites. This is a breed that is unpredictable.
  • Chow-Chow has a quick temper and loves to bully. If any fear is shown this dog will act on it.  Small children may startle this dog and because of it long fur children might want to pull it.
  • Reptiles you will want to be careful because they produce salmonella. These include but not limited to corn snakes, bearded dragons, geckos and pythons.
  • Birds –These pets are not bad if you have a cat free home and children just want to watch.

This list does not mean that families should not get a family pet based on this. It is just to make you aware of some breeds that may not be suitable for young children. These breeds may be fine for older children. You will want to research and look into all breeds and pets before deciding on that perfect one. Remember this is 10-20-year comment or more.

This article was written by Kelli DiDomenico, Vice President of Family Engagement at The Children’s Workshop.