Your Child’s First Pet

Has your little one been asking for a pet? These can be tricky waters to navigate! Being around pets offers some definite benefits for kids. However, there are plenty of things to consider before deciding to bring an animal into your household. Read on as a Lawrenceville, GA vet offers a few pointers for deciding when to get your young one a pet.

Advantages

One thing we know for sure: pets can be a wonderful source of comfort for kids in troubled times. Having a furry buddy to hug and snuggle with is a definite plus. There are also some physical benefits. Studies have shown that kids with pets tend to have stronger immune systems and fewer allergies than those without animal companions. Pets can also teach kids about friendship and empathy. Last but not least, they also make wonderful playmates and cuddle buddies!

Drawbacks

Unfortunately, it’s very common for kids to beg for pets, only to lose interest in them after a few weeks. This is very sad, because it often ends up in pets either being largely ignored, or, in some cases, returned or rehomed. This can be very hard on a pet! Animals get quite attached to their humans, and can get quite depressed if they feel abandoned. Just remember that adoption is forever. Make sure that you are ready to step up if your youngster loses interest.

Choosing The Pet

What kind of pet should you get? Much of that will depend on how mature and responsible your child is. Dogs, cats, and rabbits are all wonderful, but they do require a lot of care. You may want to start with something that requires minimal care, like a goldfish. Smaller animals, like gerbils and Guinea pigs, are a good bet for younger children. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.

Timing

How do you know if the time is right? You can’t really go by age with this. Kids all mature differently. Consider whether your little one does chores without needing to be reminded. Also, pay attention to how they act around animals. Are they gentle and compassionate? Another option: wait a bit, and see if your child keeps asking or moves on to other interests.

Please call us, your local Lawrenceville, GA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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