5:12 am - Tuesday October 24, 2017

Should Kids Have Pets?

What To Do With The KidsR has just released its latest WTDWTK Special
Report:  Should Kids Have Pets?  If so, at what age should the kid be and
what kind of pet.

What To Do With The KidsR asked adults if kids should have pets and if so,
at what age should the kid be and what type of pet is best.  Parents
submitted over 600 responses through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and by
email.  Although every single submission suggested that having a pet was
good, the vast majority were more concerned about how the parents and the
rest of the family would react to having a pet in their house.  Although the
kid would be responsible, experience has shown that that is not always the
case.  Here’s what they said:

– If the family already has a pet, the child (hopefully) will understand
that the pet must be looked after and that feeding and caring for the pet is
a regular routine shared by the family.

– Parents must assume that THEY will be looking after the pet and that IF
the kid does take responsibility then it’s a bonus.  If the parent does not
have the time or interest of looking after a pet, then they shouldn’t get
one.

– Parents must also consider the expense associated with getting a pet.  A
few examples:
– Equipment:  Cage and accessories, toys, crate or bed, litter box
or dog house.
– Veterinary Fees:  Check-ups, vaccinations, injuries and
medications.
– Food:  Regular pet food, specialized and dietary food, treats.
– Time:  Walking the dog, cleaning the cage, tank or litter box.
– Noise:  Barking, bird singing, nocturnal wheel running.
– Location:  Is there enough room for a dog, a cage or tank?
– Travel:  Will the pet travel with you or will you need a sitter or
boarding service.

– If the parents never experienced the joys of having a pet, starting with a
lower maintenance pet would be advisable.  These include fish in small tanks
or a caged bird such as a parakeet, finch or canary.

According to our submissions, the best age for a kid to have a pet starts at
5 years old.  The best pets for this age group are “lower” maintenance type
such as fish, caged birds and caged animals such as gerbils, hamsters and
guinea pigs.  At the age of 8 years, pets such as puppies, kittens and
rabbits are a good choice.

The overwhelming benefit of having a pet is its ability to teach the kid
responsibility.  There will be times when the kid is busy and just won’t
feel like feeding or watering the pet but they must learn that if they
don’t, the pet will suffer and may even die.  The kids will ideally learn
that even if they don’t  feel or want to do something, they must if they
value the pet.  In some cases however, the kid has lost all interest in the
pet and the responsibility falls onto the parents to look after it.

Many parents also believed that having a pet, especially a dog or cat, is
beneficial to strengthening a kid’s immune system.

The biggest drawback however for kids, who are responsible pet owners, is
when the pet dies.  Most parents use this time to explain life and death
which may help them deal with death later on in life.   The benefit of
having a pet however far outweighs the inevitable end.

What To Do With The KidsR is the website adults go to when they want to know
what to do with the kids.  The site features games, crafts, part ideas,
downloads, special reports, a market place, unique features and a directory
of kid and family-friendly things to do in select cities.  Visit
www.whattodowiththekids.com for more information.

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