How to Share the Responsibility of a Family Pet

As soon as your kids are old enough to speak, they may have started asking you for a family pet. A dog or cat can make your family more complete, teaching responsibility and compassion while serving as a beloved playmate for children. Yet to make the most out of this new member of the family, you'll want to be sure that everyone goes into this with the right expectations. Adding a pet to the family is a big time commitment, and if you're not careful you'll bear the brunt of the feeding and walking on your own. Take this opportunity to teach your children a lesson about responsibility for another living being, by divvying up the chores in advance.

family pet

Consider the finances

One of the sometimes overlooked responsibilities of owning a pet is the cost and who will pay for them. Believe it or not some pet owners don't consider how much a dog can cost and I would personally recommend you budget exactly how much a pet will cost you each month. If your pet is shared responsibility with you and a family member you should talk about who is covering their costs and how that is going to be spit up. There is nothing worse than being shocked by the cost of some things particularly unexpected vet costs. This can lead to problems if not thought through and budgeted before hand. If you are a dog owner I would recommend you check out this article for more information - cost of owning a dog.

Have a Family Meeting

Before you start looking for the perfect furry friend, you'll want to first sit down and have a serious discussion with the whole family about it. Your children need to understand the responsibility that a pet brings, but it's also important to make sure that everyone's on board and is happy with this decision. You can discuss the different types of dog breeds or other pets that would be best suited for your family. Some pets are better with children than others, and the amount of space that you have available will also determine the right breed.

During this preparatory time, you can also start talking about the different supplies that you'll need. Your children can help with this planning process, picking out beds and dog coats with Dogs Corner and researching different types of pet treats. Go shopping together to help build the excitement as you prepare for your new family member.

Create a Schedule

To be sure that there's no confusion regarding who will be doing which chores when your pet arrives, it's helpful to write out a schedule. Although chores may swiftly become second nature, this will help ensure that no one forgets when it's time to clean the litter box or walk the dog. You can choose to reward your children for abiding by the schedule with small treats and privileges, or simply decide that having a pet is reward enough!

Be Reasonable about Sharing Responsibilities

Although it's great to have children help out when it comes to caring for a pet, be reasonable with your expectations of them. Even if your child is mature, he or she will still need some supervision when handling a new pet for the first time. Safety should always come first, and it's not fair to expect your children to do everything. Getting your children involved in picking out supplies from and heading to the shelter to play with potential pets will help everyone stay on task, while sharing the responsibility.

family pet

With all members of your family fully prepared for the change in lifestyle that a new pet can bring, you'll help ease this transition and make sure that it's a positive one!


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