Getting a pet was a big decision for us as a family. Our son, Timmy, has always been fascinated with dogs. As early as a year old, we already saw it in him and his interest never waned.
But Timmy has asthma and we weren’t so sure if a dog’s fur would trigger it. So we decided to put his dream of being a dog owner on hold until we were sure that he was ready for it both physically and emotionally.
Fast forward to today, our little boy is a proud dog owner to Angus, an adorable Shih Tzu, who just turned one year old. c”,) If you’re planning to get a pet for your child, here are five things you need to consider.
Your child’s readiness. How old is your little one? Is he or she ready to take care of a pet? Based on my personal research (read lots of articles prior to getting Angus), a good age for a child to own a dog is around six to seven years old. By this time, he or she can be really hands-on in taking care of his own pet.
Before we got Angus, Timmy had a school of fish first. We didn’t plan it but he was given some during our field trip. So we figured it was a good preparation for him! He was only five years old then.
Timmy gave full names to each one of them. They were Kelvin de Lara, Phil Johnson, Luke Cage, and Sharon Cuneta. Haha! We got him an aquarium and his main responsibility was feeding the fish. Cleaning the aquarium was still hard for him.
More than a year later, the whole gang went to fish heaven. Not bad since what we got him was just a basic aquarium. It had no water pump whatsoever. All throughout we saw that he could be trusted with little things and he was ready to be entrusted with bigger things. c”,)
So, three months before Timmy’s 7th birthday, his dream of becoming a dog owner came true! At this age, he is able to feed Angus, clean his poop, wipe him, and brush him. Big win for responsibility training! c”,)
Your child’s personality. I remember our friend offered us to adopt their turtles before they migrated to another country. While they looked easy to manage, it didn’t meet the active personality of Timmy.
When we decided to get a dog for him I did a lot of research on what the best dog breed would be for our son. I got a lot of insights from Your Pure Bred Puppy. We eventually settled for a Shih Tzu because first, in terms of exposure, he had played with a couple of them and he really enjoyed it!
Second, it fits our little boy’s personality! Our furball can match Timmy’s running and mini basketball games. They have wrestling matches (with adult supervision and intervention, of course) and lots of cuddle time. c”,)
Your space. Prior to having Angus, a friend of ours offered to give us her puppy, which was a cross breed of a retriever and a labrador. In short, he was huge or was going to be once he got older. We just moved into a smalll apartment that time and we were trying to figure out where we could place the dog and all that.
Eventually, we regretfully turned down the offer because our space was small, we just moved in, and I was still teaching Timmy new house rules. Dogs generally need exercise and, at that time, we didn’t have space for them to run around.
Your finances. Having a pet involves having additional expenses. Whether it’s a fish, turtle, or dog, you have to provide for their needs. After all, we are called to be good stewards of God’s creation. c”,)
Dogs need vaccines and regular vet check-ups. Then, there’s dog food and dog accessories. You need to put those in the budget, too. Regardless of the animal you choose, there will be expenses that go along with it. But the love, laughter, and joy they bring to your home make every peso worth it. c”,)
Timmy always wants to bring Angus along wherever we go. He loves playing with him even if they fight sometimes. Haha! Whenever we leave Angus with my in-laws, he would always ask what time we will pick him up. And of course, our furball is always excited to see his little master. c”,)
Your family’s consensus. This is important because a pet will change your family’s dynamics. You and your husband should be on the same page. You would have to create new house rules for your children, too.
When you’ve all agreed on getting a pet, taking care of your new “baby” will be a lot easier. Everyone will take on different responsibilities in caring for him or her. More importantly, your pet will feel truly loved and cared for. c”,)
Hope this helps you in deciding if you should get a pet for your little one. Our son is having a blast with his furry buddy and so are we. It has been really fun having Angus around. And seeing Timmy mature as he takes responsibility and ownership of Angus is probably the best benefit of having a pet. c”,)