Animals are one of the greatest joys in life. For many people, adopting one as a pet is like welcoming a new family member into their house. After all, pets are much more than animals. They’re lifelong companions that show us the true meaning of unconditional love and loyalty.
Adoption Choices of Missouri knows that, as an adoptive parent, you want your child to feel at home with any new, furry addition. Let us help! Choosing the right pet for you and your family is important, and we’ve listed a few tips to help you decide.
- Animal temperament is important.This is an important factor when considering getting a dog. For example, retrievers and beagles tend to be gentle with kids. Other breeds, such as German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, and miniature French poodles may be more unpredictable. Keep the animal’s characteristics in mind when selecting a pet.
- Consider allergies. The dander – shed skin cells, hairs, and feathers – of some animals can evoke allergic symptoms in certain children. If your child has allergies, such as eczema, hay fever, or asthma, bringing a pet into the house may not be a good idea. Ask your pediatrician or a local veterinarian for advice!
- What about disease? Almost every type of pet is a potential source of disease that can infect your child. All reptiles, for example, can carry and transmit salmonella bacteria that can cause serious diarrhea. However, as long as your child practices reasonable hygiene, especially hand washing after playing with a pet and before eating, they should be safe.
- Know how much time your family has to care for a pet.Some pets, like dogs or cats, require daily attention. They must be fed, groomed, cleaned up after, and exercised. Others pets like fish, turtles, birds, guinea pigs, and hamsters, demand minimal care―and may be a good choice for a younger child who needs to learn responsibility. They’re also great for busy families with less time. A goldfish requires feeding only every two to three days with its water changed periodically. A dog cannot be neglected for even one day.
- Is it better to get a younger or older pet first? Look for a pet with a gentle disposition. An older animal is often a good choice for a child, because a puppy or kitten may bite out of sheer friskiness. Avoid older pets raised in a home without children, however. Buy pets only from reputable breeders and shelters. Otherwise you increase the risk of purchasing an ill or diseased animal and endangering your child and yourself.
Choosing the Right Pet
Sharing your life with an animal has numerous benefits and can bring you and your child immense joy. Choosing the right pet for you and your family will prove easy so long as you remember to educate yourself on the needs of your potential furry friend!