Pets for Children

Planning to bring a pet home? Things to know

Ritu Ghai
1 to 3 years

Created by Ritu Ghai
Updated on Oct 19, 2017

Planning to bring a pet home Things to know

Pets make for perfect companions with their expressive eyes full of love for you. Pets bond well with family members and if you have a child at home, it can beneficial for your little one to grow up with a pet. However, bringing a pet home is a serious commitment, much like having another child. Read on to find out what it involves, and see if you're ready to take the leap.

Benefits Of Your Child Growing Up With A Pet

Your child thinks that little fur-ball is cute, and doesn't waste a second before she starts playing with him. But apart from this obvious fondness, there are several benefits of your child growing up with a pet, especially a dog.

  1. A loyal friend: Your child will have a friend to comfort him (and offer comfort to) when he feels low. Petting a puppy is a great stress buster, not just for your child, but for you, too!
  2. Physical health: Taking your puppy on walks, playing with him, and training him can all contribute immensely to keeping your child physically fit
  3. Learn compassion and empathy: Your child learns to care for another living being with compassion and love. Dogs (and other pets) shower unconditional love on their family, and we definitely have a thing or two to learn from them
  4. Responsibility: When your child watches you take care of your pet's needs, such as food, water, exercise and safety, he will automatically learn to take on these responsibilities himself
  5. Immunity building: Having a pet at home has been linked to better immunity systems in children, and this means fewer bouts of illnesses

Things To Keep In Mind Before You Bring A Pet Home

If you're bringing home a pet, there are a few things you need to be aware of:

  1. Long-term:Remember that having a pet is a long term commitment, and you should be equipped to handle one. If you are planning to a get a dog or a cat, make sure you study the breed that you have chosen. Size of the pet is important as it relates to their energy level and nature.
  2. The pet's attributes: While choosing your pet, keep these things in mind
    • Look for a pet that is playful with shiny bright eyes and a moist nose
    • Ideally the pet must be at least eight weeks old before you bring it home;
    • Enquire about the puppy's temperament and also his parents' nature so that you have an idea how your pet would grow up to be;
  3. Prepare your home:Pet proof your home in advance!
    • Remove any unused items from around as your new pet is like to dig its head into everything like trash cans and food containers and this might cause an infection or injury
    • Install barriers near areas you don't want your pet to access
  4. Find a vet before you find your pet: Before you even bring your pet home, identify a suitable veterinary doctor close to your home.
    • Ask friends and pet owners for recommendations
    • A good vet will suggest the required vaccinations, food brands, trainers and must-have supplies in the house for the pet
  5. Buy a few essentials: Have the basics ready before you bring your pet home.
    • Buy a collar, leash, feeding bowl and food for the dog in accordance to its size, breed and weight
    • Pay attention to the quality of food and its ingredients
    • It is good to purchase a dog bed so that the new member can recognize its own spot in the house
    • You can also buy some treats for the dog such as toys, bones that can be given as rewards during training the dogs
    • Toys are best for dogs when they are teething. This will keep them away from biting household items

Changes After You Bring Your Pet Home

Now that you've brought your pet home, don't worry if everything doesn't seem hunky-dory at first. Like all changes, this one will need a lot of getting used to. Here are some changes that you need to prepare for:

  1. The adjustment period:Your pet's entry into house is a period of adjustment. It is curious about the new environment and start sniffing things.
    • If the pet has travelled a distance before reaching your place, it will be tired and probably sleep in any corner of the house, chosen by him.
    • This dip in energy is temporary and after resting, the pet will be running around smelling things and asking for food.
    • Make sure to have a constant supply of fresh water for the pet.
    • It will take a little while for the pet to bond. After a few days the dog will not only become comfortable, but get into a routine and seek your attention.
  2. Train your pet:House train your dog as early as possible by taking him out at a particular time of the day at least twice.
  3. Child meets dog:If you have a baby or a toddler at home, let the dog get familiar with your child gradually.
    • By nature, dogs are humble with children but never leave them alone
    • An energeticdog may unconsciously hurt a child during play or a baby might poke a finger at the dog
    • Teach your child to watch for signs when the dog is aggressive or in a mood to bite
  4. Hygiene:Always keep your child's toys away from dogs. Avoid mouth contact with them and make sure your child washes her hands after playing with your dog. Keep sanitizers handy
  5. Shower your love:Remember that pets are stress-busters and bring plenty happiness to your home, but they might not follow your every instruction. Yet, loving your pet is the best way to stress-free pet parenting

With these preparations, you're ready to bring home a pet. A pet's companionship teaches your child more life-lessons than anything else. Why not give him this opportunity to bond, love and grow?

Do you have any more tips to keep in mind before bringing home a pet? Share them with us in the comments section!

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| Oct 24, 2017


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