“Mommy, Daddy, can we get a pet?”
How many times has a parent heard this line from their child? I’m guessing every single one has heard it at least once in their life, remembering they also asked the same. Sometimes when a child asks for a pet, it’s because they want something to play with and love. Other times it might be because someone else has one making them wish they had a pet as well.
When I was growing up, I’ve asked for a new pet a time or two. I know I did. Unfortunately, it had to be a cat because my mother was never much for dogs which is the complete opposite of me – I love dogs. I’ve had a few cats growing up over the years and I still do. They’re probably the easiest domesticated pet to raise up since
they practically do everything for themselves which I was more than fine with.
As a parent hears their child ask if they could get their own pet, they may ponder a few moments before giving their definite answer. I know some parents who have the problem on coming up with the right answer to this innocent little question. Some may feel that it’s a good idea for their kid to have a friend grow up with them. Others aren’t sure their children are ready for such a huge responsibility. If the kids do ask, try to think about it for a while before giving a final answer. You may find that a pet could do some good for your children as well as yourself.
So, have you figured out what the answer is? Are you considering that family pet the kiddos have been begging for? If the answer is yes, congratulations! A pet in its own right is a beautiful addition to any single or family unit which can bring even more joy into your home.
Recently, I, myself, invited a new four-legged friend into my home. At first, my family and I thought that we shouldn’t get a new pet, but after serious consideration, we felt it may be time to share the love we have with another. So, out of the blue, I decided to head out and find a new friend. Considering there are many animals out there needing homes, I went the best route and found my special pet over at the local animal shelter. As I went inside, I saw several sweet hearts that looked at me lovingly, hoping I would take them home. Then, I saw him – a beautiful black cat that was about 10 months old – and he looked deep into my eyes as if saying “Can I come home with you?” I fell in love and I adopted him right away.
Even though he may have been so happy and sweet at the shelter, when I brought him home, he was extremely timid, running and hiding from everybody the second he was let out. He would barely come out of hiding to eat or drink, even play. It had taken several days for him to get used to my family filled with three adults and three teens, but in the end, it was worth getting him. My Sebastian loves to play, have his belly rubbed and share the love he gets back twice as much. He’s not only a pet now, but a family member. So, getting a pet is worthwhile, but it may take a bit for him or her to get used to you and their new surroundings. Especially in an environment with children around if the pet had never been exposed to them before.
When you become a pet owner, you become someone an animal is very dependent on. So, before you get ready to hop in the car and journey to retrieve that four-legged best friend, here are a few tips to help you and your pet adjust to a new home life.
– Who is Going To Be Your New Best Friend:
Sometimes the hardest part about getting a pet is knowing the best kind to get. For small children, a parent may consider a fish, rabbit, gerbil, hamster, etc. Those who want to have a companion that can play, walk, pet and just lounge around with usually want a dog or a cat. So, think of the pet you wish to get and do a bit of research, especially if you’ve never taken care of an animal before.
– Place of Adoption:
Lots of people look to animal shelters or the SPCA for all their adoption needs. Most of these animals I found out were either surrendered, abandoned or may have had an issue with previous owners. So if you are adopting from a shelter, talk to the volunteers about their previous history. Other places to find a new pet these days are online from others in your community wishing to rehome their own or in a pet store.
– Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!:
Once the pet is figured out, make sure to have all it’s needs taken care of and ready before bringing them home. This way, once they are welcomed, they will have everything they need to get comfortable in a new environment. For example, with cats, make sure you have a litter box, food/water bowls (with food of course), maybe a bed, a few toys, treats, etc. With small pets like hamsters or rabbits, they need a cage, maybe a wheel, food, little toys, etc. This way, when you bring them home, they can be in a similar environment with all the basics they needed to live. It can help make them a bit more comfortable and open to their new owners.
– No Rush:
Don’t rush the progress of your new pet. You’ve brought them home, but they may not feel comfortable enough to consider it their own. Sure some animals are used to everything right away wanting to play and run, but others may not. They may hide, barely eat or even let you pet or hold them. Just let them be for a while and get used to all family members slowly but surely. Trust me, it can take some time, but in the end, it is all well worth it.
– Vet Visit:
Does your pet have all their shots or everything needed to begin their life with you? If not, you may want to consider a vet visit. You want to make sure your pet is healthy and happy receiving all the necessary care they need. Of course, you want to be up to date so you don’t want to worry about it all later on, so do it once you get your pet.
– Make Time:
Spending time with your new pet is of utmost importance. They need to get to know you and everybody they will be living with for the rest of their life. As you take some time to play and pet them, it’ll be easier for them to get used to you. Next thing you know, they’ll want all the time in the world to spend with you, their new best friends. Share the huge love you have with them. They’ll love you even more for it.
Once progress is made where your new friend is feeling right at home, you’ll notice a wonderful change in their demeanor. They are a lot more open, friendly and wishing to be around you all the time. Maybe even share a smile on their face if they try hard enough (My kitty sure does). And why wouldn’t they when they have someone to love and cherish them for the rest of their life? However, if you do notice that your pet is not adjusting after quite a bit of time, you may want to consider speaking to your veterinarian about it. They have quite a bit of insight when it comes to animal behaviors.
All in all, a new addition to the family may be a great idea. If you got a love more love to give, share it with a four-legged friend who will be loyal to you and yours for the rest of their lives. Guarantee it’ll all be worth it in the end.