By Jane Marsh
You might be thinking of adding to your family by getting an animal. A pet is the perfect cuddly companion, whether covered in fur, feathers or scales, and they require lots of love, attention and commitment. Here are some things to consider when you’re pondering pet parenthood.
What Are the Benefits of a Pet?
Having animals around is a fun experience – it can also positively affect your family’s emotional and physical health. Studies show that pets are a stable source of support for children and adults. Kids also form strong emotional relationships with their pets, which benefits their mental health.
Pets can provide many benefits to a family:
- Lower blood pressure: The presence of a pet lowers blood pressure in both adults and children.
- Relieve stress: Studies have shown pets can reduce your heart rate.
- Provide emotional support: Pets provide emotional support for adults and help with key emotional development in children.
- Teach trust: Children learn to be more trusting of their family and show more independence by forming a relationship with their pets.
Who in Your Family Wants a Pet?
Knowing who in your family wants a pet will help determine whether this is the right time to get one. Ideally, everyone will be on the same page and look forward to adding an animal to their lives. You can still get a pet if other people don’t want one – you will just have to ensure you can care for it with less help.
Does Your Neighbourhood Allow Animals?
Check if your neighbourhood allows animals. Some places might not let you have certain pets. For example, if you live somewhere with an HOA or in an apartment, you might be restricted from specific animals or breeds.
What Type of Pet Will You Get?
There are many different options when you’re thinking about getting a pet. Dogs and cats are classic, but chickens, rabbits or fish might better suit your family’s needs. Consider if you want to wake up to a dog licking your hand or a nest full of eggs.
Any pet you choose should be cared for properly. For example, you can raise rabbits as eco-friendly by being responsible and using sustainable materials for their cages. Rescuing an animal from a shelter, giving your pet healthy food and neutering your animals are all ways to be a thoughtful pet owner.