When is your child ready for their first pet?

Here's how you'll know

If you are considering getting your child a pet there are some things to think about first. It is only natural that you worry about how your child will manage caring for a pet and there are many reasons why your child is not ready. However, a good indication of your child’s commitment is if they are showing these signs as below. Here are some of them listed here to allow you to make the right decision. 
  • Your child is responsible- Some kids are born responsible whereas others must learn how to behave responsibly. If your child is responsible enough to cross roads properly or take care of younger siblings while you leave the room, your nipper is obviously of a caring and responsible nature. This will steer them well once they have a pet of their own to care for. 
  • Your child has been saving money- Most kids will spend, spend and spend some more but if your youngster is actively saving for their new pet it proves they are willing to meet you half way. Some kids will bargain that they will do chores around the house to earn pocket money that will go towards their new pet’s care. 
  • They help around the house- If your child is good at helping then they will probably take great care of a pet. If they will pick up after themselves and not scream their heads off once given instructions than they are mature enough to have a pet. 
  • They have time in their schedules for a pet- There is no point getting your nipper a pet, no matter how much they plead if they have little time for one. If your child is over-scheduled their pet will suffer and you will pick up the pieces of a neglected pet. 
  • There is space in your home- If your home is prepared for a new pet this is ideal and if your child will help in allocating an area even better. It shows that they are thinking of all areas of pet care and are ready for a new pet. 
  • Your child behaves well around animals- If your child is gentle, caring and patient with pets than they should fare well with their own pet. If your child grows bored or become agitated it is probably not the right time for them to have a new pet. The right time is paramount and while some young kids will be ready at a young age, others need more time. 
  • They have proved themselves- If your child has helped you caring for other pets or fostered animals this is a good sign that they are ready. If you have a nipper that is motivated and determined they will be more than capable of caring for a pet. 
Either way having a pet is a big commitment but as a parent you should ensure that before you get one, that it is for the right reasons and that your nipper is committed to the task ahead. 
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ


Emma Hayes

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

Read more by Emma
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us