As with having children, introducing a lodger, or changing your relationship, introducing a pet, such as a dog, is bound to change the dynamic of your home; this is a new occupant, a dependent, that now looks to you for its every need. While many of the changes that introducing a pet brings are positive ones, it can take time to adjust to your new family member. Here are a few of the things that you may wish to take into consideration before you take the plunge…
Introducing a new pet to your family
There are numerous advantages to having a pet in your household, including an improved sense of responsibility, motivation to head out for longer walks, and companionship if you happen to be at home alone. Introducing a new pet to children can be particularly rewarding, enabling them to grow up around animals, learn respect for other living things, and teaching even the youngest members of your family about accountability, friendship, and, eventually, loss. In short, bringing a pet into your family can have a huge, positive, impact upon the ways in which your children are brought up.
Of course, bringing a new pet home can also irreparably alter your home’s dynamic; there will now be another mouth to feed, and you must consider your new pet’s needs before you make any decisions – even seemingly mundane ones regarding new furniture, decorating, or renovating, parts of your home, and holidays. When introducing animals where there are children you will need to be prepared for excitement, an eventual loss of interest, fear, or even jealousy, and it’s not a decision to take lightly. Is your whole family on board, and are you all prepared for this commitment?
You see, once you bring a pet into your household it will never be quite the same again. Are you all ready for this wonderful, sometimes anxious, journey?
A few things you’ll need to think about…
Of course, as with all things, there will be certain downsides to bringing a pet into your home. A dog, for example, will need hours of dedicated training, commitment, and regular exercise, while cats’ temperaments can be unpredictable – to say the least. Even goldfish will come with their own potential issues, and so it essential that you, and your family, consider the type of impact an animal will have on your home. Who will end up caring for your pet? Will there be any resentment or jealousy if anybody is left to do the bulk of the work? Are you children aware of the responsibilities of having a pet?
Having a pet isn’t just a long-term commitment for you as a parent or homeowner; your new resident is relying upon you to look after it. Have you considered all of the problems that can accompany getting a pet? Dogs must be properly trained to know their place within your family ‘pack’; otherwise, you risk an excitable animal that is prone to biting. Cats, meanwhile, are difficult to train and tend to do as they please; do you understand your animal well enough to trust them around other people and animals? Bigger pets, such as dogs and cats, will need additional care including vaccinations, and treatments with wormer and treatments for flea prevention. Failure to do so will risk the health of any other pets you have and the animals your dog may meet when out walking, as well as exposing your home and family to a barrage of potential pests.
While it may seem like a simple decision to make on the spur of the moment, choosing a pet, regardless of whether that’s a cat, dog, rabbit, or hamster, should never be taken lightly. An animal has the potential to completely alter the dynamic of your home, upset the status quo you have achieved with other animals, and even change the way you interact as a family. Carefully consider whether you have the time, patience, and money to dedicate to an animal, and think about the ways in which members of your family could be affected. Only then are you ready to give an animal a loving and secure home.