A pet is a great addition to the family. It helps teach your kids responsibility and gives them a new friend to play with. It can also improve your health if you’ve got an animal in the house. But if you don’t time it wisely, your kids can be too young to help with looking after them. Having a new puppy when you’re trying to juggle a couple of toddlers can also add a lot of extra stress onto an already stretched household. Before you decide to get a family pet, make sure that you’re ready for it.


Wait For Them To Ask

If your kids don’t want a pet, then they aren’t going to see any benefit when you get one. Most kids will start to ask if they can have a pet at some point. But if they just mention it once or twice, that doesn’t mean they are dedicated. You need to wait until they show a sustained interest in getting a pet, otherwise, they might just get bored of it after a few weeks.

Getting one as a surprise is always a bad idea. It’s good to meet an animal a few times to make sure that it gets on with everybody in the family. If you just bring one home as a surprise, your child might not bond well with it and they will not like spending time with their new pet.


Are They Mature Enough

When you get a family pet, you want your child to make some of the decisions about its care and help you to look after it. For example, is your child mature enough to choose a healthier treat like Betsy Farms over something unhealthy like Pedigree that they’ve seen on the television? Or will they be dedicated enough to walk them every day without getting fed up with it? Of course, getting a pet is a great way to teach them some maturity, but they need to be old enough before you get them one. If they are forgetful or prone to sudden changes in mood, they might not be ready for a new pet.


Set Expectations

Before you decide whether to get a pet or not, you need to discuss it with your child and make sure that they understand the reality of having a pet. They need to understand that a pet is going to be around for a long time and it’s not just like a toy that they can toss aside when they’re done with it. Make clear to them exactly what they’re going to have to do in terms of care and attention, and it might be worth discussing the eventuality of the pet dying. It’s not a nice conversation to have but if they aren’t prepared for it, it could be a difficult time for them.


Getting a pet is a momentous decision to make for you and the whole family. If you rush into it, you could end up stuck with a pet that none of you really want to look after. You all need to sit down as a family and discuss it thoroughly before diving into anything.