Your child or children may want a pet and they probably bring the subject up every week. You might be wondering if they are ready or if you will end up doing all the work. Sometimes, children are responsible and ready, and other times, they might not realize the work involved and the responsibilities they will have to manage. 38% of households own a dog, so your child might want to be in that percentage. Below are signs that your child may be ready to take care of a pet.

They Respect and Treat Animals Kindly

Take your children to visit friends or family with pets and see how they behave. Supervise them and show them how to handle pets. Young children often think of pets as a toy and are not ready for one. Some children seek out pets and want to pet dogs or cats when they visit or see them at a local park. Watch your children’s reaction when they see animals. Some children are afraid of dogs and will run away crying or screaming, so make sure they are actually ready for one in your home.

Visit a pet store or shelter where your child can get used to animals. Children can be too aggressive with pets; those riding on the dog’s back, pulling its ears, or chasing the cat, are not ready for pet ownership. They need to be able to give the pet space and learn how to handle it properly.

When your child likes to pet animals, visits farms, and plays with animals, they may be ready for a pet. Teaching them ahead before adopting a pet about the chores and work involved is a good idea.

They Do Chores at Home and in School

A sign your child may be a suitable candidate for a pet is that they help with chores at home. They pick up their toys, make their bed, help load the dishwasher, watch their younger sibling, or help prepare dinner daily. At school, if they have a good relationship with other children and complete their homework on time, these could be signs that your child is ready for a pet.

A mature child that takes responsibility in other areas of their life will be a viable candidate for a pet. Before adopting a pet, you may want your child to take care of a family or friend’s pet to see how they do. This is good preparation for the daily responsibilities that taking care of a pet will have.

Your Child or Children Want to Find the Right Pet

Finding the right pet for your child or children is a crucial step. When your children are willing to look around and show patience, this is a good sign. Depending on your lifestyle, finding the right pet can take time. If you are terribly busy, a high-maintenance, active dog is not the right choice for you. A cat may be better if you are away during the day as it can be left alone.

You will want to discuss what will be involved in caring for the pet. You should discuss feeding, grooming, walking, and visiting the vet. Sometimes, children do not really understand the work involved..

Be Sure You Have Time and Finances to Care for a Pet

If you have a tight budget with little to spare, a pet would not be a sound investment for your family. They require care, purchasing pet food and equipment, and paying vet bills. Pets can bring added stress to your home if you do not have the income or time to care for them properly. If you are busy and seldom home, a pet would not be a desirable choice. Some dogs must be trained and require lessons and practice, so it’s important that this training fits into your schedule as well as your child’s.

36% of dog owners and 31% of cat owners bought the recommended brand of dry pet food in 2019 from their vet. Dog and cat food can be expensive, so it’s important to ensure you have enough money for this.

Pets do teach children responsibility and provide companionship. They are a sound investment when families take responsibility for their care and take the time to look for the right pet. They improve your parenting skill by teaching children responsibility. Contact your local animal shelter, visit a pet store, or try a local breeder to find the right pet for your family.