Is your child ready for a pet?

Here are the signs you should look out for

Most children love to have a pet of some sort from a young age but some parents can be a little apprehensive about it all. What happens if your child ignores the pet once the initial fascination wears off? Is your child responsible enough and will they make a good home for their new pet? Before you take the leap and get a pet, take a look at some of the signs that your child is ready.
  • Behaves well around all animals- Watch how your child behaves around animals, to see if they are they kind and gentle? 
  • Respects animals and appreciates their need for space- The last thing you want is to bring your puppy, kitten or bunny home to a kid that will just grab it and scare the life out of them. Does your child understand they need to give their new pet a bit of space to get used to the place and that in turn they will get used to you, no amount of squeezing will help! 
  • Helps around the house- If your child is already helping around the house and up managing to carry out age appropriate it shows your child is responsible. A new pet will need to be brushed, washed, and fed each day. Some pets need their cages cleaned out and dogs need regular walks so ensure your kiddie is up to the task ahead. 
  • Is open to all options- Your child needs to know what pet will best suit your family, especially with the amount of time you actually have to dedicate to it. A dog needs a lot of care and companionship so if you are all out of the house for eight hours a day there may be a more suitable option. Cats are less work and like to roam which may suit better and bunnies are friendly but still need to have their cages cleaned but again they don’t need someone to be at home all day. Chatting about this together will set you up on the right path for the right pet for you all. 
  • Will offer love and affection- Pets need love and affection as well as time so have a good look at the time your child has to dedicate to their pet? 
Written by Emma. Emma is a writer with Family Friendly HQ and also writes her own parenting musings over at


Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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