Are you thinking about getting your child a pet?
As any parent knows only too well, at some stage most children will ask for a pet. And this has probably been even more the case during the long months of lockdown.
If so, you are not alone. The Pet Food Manufacturers Association recently released details of its Covid-19 Pet Survey, which gave details of a huge rise in pet ownership during the pandemic. 11% of households have already welcomed a new pet and a further 10% plan to do so. And 20% of new pet owners have children.
Having a pet can bring a lot of advantages to the family, but there are also a few disadvantages that you need to consider carefully.
In this article we look at three of the main advantages and disadvantages of having a pet.
Advantages of having a pet
Having a pet can bring a lot of joy and happiness into a family. This is probably more evident with dogs or cats, but so many peoples’ lives are also enriched in various ways by smaller pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters.
It can be both fascinating and rewarding building up a relationship with your pet, and training it to respond to you: something the whole family can enjoy.
Caring for a pet is a wonderful way of helping children learn more about taking responsibility. They can be allocated regular jobs relating to the pet, and given support and encouragement to do these properly.
It is a major life lesson for them to learn that most things that they enjoy also involve a bit of effort behind the scenes; so helping to look after a pet could set them up well for other responsibilities later in life.
3. Well being
Animals can add a completely new dimension to your life. Pets provide you with something different to be interested in and learn more about. Having a pet can also help you to feel calmer and alleviate stress.
Your pet may even open the door to making new friendships – for example, getting to know other dog walkers when you are out with your dog.
Overall, there are many advantages to pet ownership. However, there are also some disadvantages that you need to consider carefully. Let’s take a look.
Disadvantages of having a pet
1. The cost
Unfortunately, most pets don’t come cheap. Especially if you are thinking about getting a dog or a cat. As well as the cost of buying the animal, there is all the equipment it needs, plus ongoing food, care, pet insurance and vet’s bills.
It is important to look into this fully and be realistic about whether you can afford a pet before going ahead.
2. The commitment
Any pet is a commitment, some more than others. You need to ensure that your daily life pattern can accommodate the needs of a pet. All animals need some kind of daily care and feeding, dogs need regular exercise, and some animals such as dogs and cats thrive on your company and can’t be left alone for long periods of time.
You also need to think about who would look after your pet if you are away from home and can’t take it with you.
3. The emotional attachment
Your relationship with your pet is very much a mixed blessing. Whilst, as we saw earlier, the whole family can really benefit from building a close and fun relationship with your pet, this does make things very difficult if your pet becomes ill or, sadly, dies.
It’s not something we like to think about, but may be worth bearing in mind if you think your children would not be able to cope.
We hope that the above information helps you to weigh up whether getting a pet is the right decision for your family.
Good luck in your decision, and remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Simple Fast Loans.