Kids and Pets

November 14, 2019

Pets are wonderful companions. They can be tons of fun and provide unconditional love to their human counterparts, as long as they fit into your life and lifestyle.

Kids especially can have lots of fun with pets, but you do have to keep some things in mind. Read more about your kids and pets below.

Benefits of Owning a Pet

Pet ownerships are very beneficial to the pet and the owner.
Pets can be friends (and for many, family) – when you’re lonely or bored, your pet’s always there for you.
Stress/anxiety relief – Studies have shown interacting with dogs can lower stress/anxiety by increasing oxytocin production (stress-reducing hormone) and decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone).
Learning experience – Owning a pet involves a lot of learning. Not only can you learn about the animal you own, but you also learn various responsibilities such as feeding your pet and getting them exercise.
Exercise – Dogs especially can help you get outdoors and walk around.
Great for the whole family – Who doesn’t like pets?

How to Choose a Pet

Pets come in many shapes and sizes. There are your traditional pets: cats, dogs, mice, hamsters, birds, fish, etc.

However, many enjoy more exotic pets like snakes, lizards, and tarantulas.

Some people might larger pets like horses or donkeys.

Consider the following before getting a pet:
Time – Different animals vary in the amount of time required to care for them. Tarantulas don’t require as much time as dogs. Even within dogs, different breeds have different needs.
Budget – Pets aren’t cheap. Food, medicine, toys, vaccinations, vet visits, and any damage the pet might cause.
Home – Certain living situations (such as apartments) might have restrictions on or charge fees for pet ownership.
Size – How large will your pet be when it grows up?
Other siblings – Smaller children might not be safe around certain pets.
Other pets – In both your own home and in your neighborhood. You may have a pet already that does or doesn’t get along with other animals. As for your neighborhood: if you get a new dog, for example, other dogs might want to check your new dog out. This could scare your dog.

Safety Tips for Pets

Pets are a big responsibility, so you need to learn everything you can about the pet you plan on getting. That means learning about the food it needs, when it needs to be fed, when to head to the vet, how much exercise it needs, temperature/climate needs, dog training centers near you (if you get a dog), and similar information.

Keep the following in mind as well:
Keep small toys out of reach – Like with infants and toddlers, small toys are a choking hazard for your pet.
Keep human medicine out of reach – Pets like to eat almost anything they see, including human medicines; these medicines can be harmful to your pets.
Don’t use human medicine – Human cough medicine is different than animal cough medicine, and could make your pet ill.
Keep poisons out of reach – Anti-pest poisons are also terrible for your pets, so keep them out of any area your pet can reach.
Know your pet’s location – Don’t let your pet wander unattended outside. It could get injured or taken from you in some way.
Exercise – Pets need varying degrees of exercise. Make sure your pet gets the right amount.

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