Pets are awesome. I’ve had pets for as long as I can remember. For the most part, the family pet advice out there is on the side of the four-legged. And, there’s no denying that bringing a pooch, feline, or other fluffy companions into the family space can be an incredible way to bring everyone together. After all, not only does this addition provide a shared focus, but it can also complete the family unit, bring untold joy, and all those other positive points that you’ve heard so much about. What do you do when the kids want a pet but it’s just not the right time?
Saying no when the kids want a pet
Kids throughout time have always begged and pleaded to have a pet, and parents have always felt like the bad guy by saying no over and over again. Owning a pet is a big decision and a big responsibility. Every situation is different
and there are many reasons why a furry friend might not be right for your family’s particular circumstances.
It is vital you stick to your guns and not give in, no matter how much pressure the rest of the family, piles onto your shoulders. To help prove your point, here are a few reasons why a pet most definitely wouldn’t be a wise choice for your circumstances.
A family member has allergies
Pet hair is one of the worst triggers for allergies in kids, and many parents find that pets simply aren’t an option because of this. Even short-haired pets can still carry the bacteria that make youngsters break out. Sadly, they’ll likely turn themselves blue in the face trying to convince that it won’t be an issue.
The best thing to do in this case is to see about testing for allergies that prove, once and for all, why furry friends are off the cards. With medical proof and your youngster’s health at risk, the chances are that at least your partner will begin to back your argument.
There’s pet-based fear in your midst
There’s a false belief amongst parents that a pet is a good cure for childhood animal fears, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Time around animals at farms, etc. is, of course, one way to work through those underlying worries and concerns, but bringing an animal home is a different matter.
Your home should be a safe space for your kids. Never compromise that by giving in to pet pressure from elsewhere in the household and assuming it’ll be a magic fix. The enforced and close proximity could, in fact, worsen that phobia and even leave your child feeling unsafe at home. That’s never what you want, and if there’s any risk of this, it’s a sure sign that you should probably not get a pet, at least for the time being.
The space conundrum
If you were considering another child, you’d think about key factors, such as whether you really have space to expand your family. Yet, this is a point that far too many parents overlook when it comes to pets. We assume, instead, that animals will fit neatly into the lives we have. Newsflash – that’s rarely the case.
Nowadays, we’re fully aware that even small pets like hamsters need substantial cage setups to achieve any quality of life. The need for space, too, should be visible when it comes to getting a dog. Far from fitting into space we have free for them, it’s vital to know that we have the room not only for them to sleep, but also to get outside exercise and live comfortably.
While you can select the size of the animal, there’s still no way to make an already crowded house bigger. By trying, you’re guaranteed to leave that pet miserable, and probably the rest of the family, too.
Affordability is also a crucial consideration, and one that we all too often assume will take care of itself. In reality, though, annual pet costs currently exceed $1000 in the majority of cases. And, that’s without factoring things like veterinary care. In other words, you need to have excess income each month to weather expenses such as insurance, pet food, toys, medication, vet bills, etc. When you calculate the costs, you may decide that it just isn’t financially feasible to own a pet at this time in your lives.
Will a pet get lonely while everyone is gone?
Another pressing reason pets should be a no-go is if your home is empty for large portions of the day. Between work and school, if the house will sit empty for hours, it isn’t fair to the pet to be alone that long (for dogs at least). In fact, many breeders and kennels refusing to sell dogs to full-time workers due to the distress this causes the animal. Dogs need physical exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.
This is also true if you travel a lot. It isn’t fair to keep a pet at a kennel frequently because of your travel wants or needs.
Everyone keeps changing their minds
Last but by no means least, avoiding pet pressure may be especially prevalent if you find that your family keeps changing their minds about this. Kids, in particular, have a habit of switching from one desire to another without ever quite settling. One minute they might want a dog, the next they’re asking for the latest new game, or a hamster instead.
This is a sure sign that, actually, despite their protests otherwise, a pet isn’t quite the priority your family is making out. That, in turn, indicates that they’d soon lose patience with their new four-legged friend and leave you to pick up the pieces, including doing all of the cleaning and caring for the pet. I’ve been there and done that!
A final word
Saying no to a pet can be tough, especially when people are piling the pressure from all sides. But remember that, in cases like these, it’s the kindest thing for everyone. Not only does sticking to your guns mean that your family can continue living the lives they enjoy, but it also ensures that you never put a pet in a poor position. If the kids still want pets when they are older, then at least they can bring a four-legged friend into their own homes once they’ve moved out. But, pet pressure is no reason to say yes when it is your home and family on the line.