The Pros and Cons of Raising Kids with a Family Pet

The Pros and Cons of Raising Kids with a Family Pet | Baby Chick

The Pros and Cons of Raising Kids with a Family Pet

“You can have a cat when you have your own house!”

I remember well these words of wisdom that were spoken by my father in response to my asking for a kitten for the millionth time while growing up. Although he did finally give in and get me a kitten when I was 16 years old, these words have echoed in my mind with each new pet my husband and I add to our own family. Fast forward 10 years, to my husband and me bartering over whom will brush out the fur of our Siberian husky, and I believe my dad may have been on to something.

Our Family Pet

We currently own a cat (yes, the same one I mentioned) a dog, and a goldfish (that may or may not die monthly, and be replaced before my toddler daughter notices). My husband and I have always loved animals, and our daughter is no different. She is an animal fanatic, and because of that we have opened our home to many a family pet, and we love the bond that she has formed with each one of her pets.

Raising Kids with a Family Pet

The Pros of Raising Kids with a Pet

I love that she is learning responsibility and how to care for others just by owning a few pets, but it isn’t all a breeze, especially for us parents. She absolutely loves to help feed them, and give treats, and does do a good job being gentle and kind to them which is a major plus because she is learning empathy at a very young age. Taking care of our family pet and being kind to the animals because she doesn’t want to hurt them is a valuable lesson to be learned; however because she is so young still, most of the actual responsibility falls onto my husband and me.

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I would be lying if I said I don’t fantasize about dropping off our precious pooch at the pound every week, especially on those days when she has chewed the legs off the couch, or swallowed a mechanical cat toy and required emergency surgery which costs thousands of dollars (yes, that actually happened). Everything would be easier, and my house would be much cleaner, if I did go ahead and stop fantasizing about dropping off our dog at the SPCA and just do it, however I believe my kiddo would be crushed if she didn’t have her puppy pal. All of the aggravation of owning pets, and caring for them is worth it, for the most part, when your child has a buddy, and special bond with their pets.

The Cons of Taking Care of a Pet while Raising Kids

Some of the unforeseen cons of having a family pet would be first of all, the cost. Pets are not cheap to own! From grooming, food, and vet bills to flea and tick treatments, and sickness or injuries that seem to come at the worst time financially, it is quite an expense to have a family pet. Be sure to budget these things in before you decided whether a hamster or a horse would be a better fit for your family budget.

Secondly, I would say a con would be allergies. Children are having a difficult time with allergies more than ever before, and pets can cause serious complications. Be sure that your child is able to be around the particular pet you are considering, as well as the accessories they need. Some things to consider would be dandruff, cat litter, bedding, or even hay or straw if you are considering an outside pet such as a chicken, or horse. Don’t be discouraged if your kids are asking for a particular pet, some breeds are hypoallergenic, or hairless pets are available. Fish are also a very safe option for kids that have severe allergies.

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Another thing to consider when shopping for a family pet would be how much space and time you have to commit to a pet. For example, you wouldn’t want a dog breed that needs a lot of exercise, and attention if you work long hours, and don’t have outside access. Many apartments don’t allow dogs or cats at all, so check with your landlord before coming home with that adorable German Shepard puppy.

Overall, I would say that raising kids with a family pet is worth it–the lifelong lessons your children will learn are a huge positive, as long as you choose one that is the right fit for your family and your particular family needs. Having enough space to comfortably take care of your pet, enough time to devote to care and enough money to pay for needs are all very important.

About the Author /

Kindergarten teacher and mom to my toddler daughter!

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Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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And if there is some toddler nonsense, remember you can eat their candy while they sleep. 😜⁠
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