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How to Find the Right Furry Companion for Your Family

Posted on January 12 2022

If you’re thinking of adding a furry member to your family, you may have a few questions. Adopting or buying a pet can be a huge commitment, with new roles and responsibilities for both you and your children. So how can you make sure your family, and your new pet, stay stress-free during this big transition? You can start by asking yourself a few simple questions, like these from Very Important Puppies.


What Type of Pet Is Best for My Child?

This can be a tricky question for parents to answer, especially since pets can come with a lot of responsibility. If you have smaller children, make sure that you are prepared to help shoulder some of that responsibility in order to keep your new family pet healthy. If you are like many families and plan on getting a puppy, The Spruce recommends getting familiar with all of the ups and downs that come with caring for and training such a young animal.

Puppies can be much like children in that they need constant care and attention in order to grow into stable and healthy adult dogs. If you are just getting used to sleeping through the night after becoming a new parent, you may want to adopt an older dog instead.  

In addition to the level of care needed, you should also consider your lifestyle, your home, and your budget when deciding on the best pet. For instance, if your family currently lives in a smaller house or apartment, adopting a large, busy breed of dog may not be optimal—although Petfinder notes there are dogs of all sizes who have apartment potential. A cat or another small animal may be a more suitable pet and can save you and your family the stress of a bad match.


How Can I Prepare My Home for a New Pet?

If you have smaller children, the good news is that many of the safety measures you’ve likely already taken to childproof your home and home office are the same needed to puppy-proof it. Puppies explore the world with their mouths, so ensuring that electrical cords, sharp objects, toxic plants, dangerous foods, and hazardous items are off of floors is crucial.

In addition to providing your pet with safety in your home, you should also think about providing some additional comfort. A dog ramp can help smaller dogs get off and on couches a little easier and can make it less painful for older dogs to get into a car. There are a variety of options available, so read some reviews to find one that works for your pet.

Providing dogs with a safe place to rest and relax can be important as well, so make sure you place a bed or crate in a comfortable area. It’s also important for animals and children to respect each other’s boundaries. So use pet-friendly gates to separate this relaxation area from small children if needed, or to keep your new pet out of specific areas in your home.

Of course, you still need items like food and water bowls, a leash, collar, toys and food. Extras can be fun too. Items like the Furbo dog camera can keep an eye on your pet and deliver a treat, while Very Important Puppies makes it easy to find luxury sweaters, jackets and coats to keep your pup warm and stylish.


How Can I Prepare My Child for a New Pet?

Depending on your child’s age, you may want to take different steps to prepare him/her for having a new pet in the home. Older children will likely be able to take on more pet-care chores than younger children, and children over the age of 10 can really help out with just about any responsibility around owning a pet. Your older child can take your dog for walks, feed him, and play with him, but if your child is younger, you may want to restrict responsibilities to tasks like putting away toys or helping you fill food dishes.

Parents should always supervise young children when allowing them to care for pets, so they can prevent accidents before they happen. While it can be scary to think about, many accidents involving kids and pets occur when animals are left unsupervised with children or when children are not taught how to respect animals.

Adopting a pet can come with just as much responsibility as having a child. If you’re up for the effort and patience it can take to add a pet to your family, however, you can also expect to reap some pretty amazing rewards. In the end, having a pet can make your family whole, so long as you pick the right pet and provide the right care. 

Photo Credit: Unsplash