How Long Can 4 Week Old Kittens Go Without Food Pets For Kids

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Pets For Kids

Here are 10 essential reality checks for YOU to consider when ‘other people’ are considering adding a new pet to your family or household.

So you want a pet or at least your children want a pet, well there is nothing unnatural about that, the whole idea will sound great … but wait a minute, stop and think …. there some big positives on this. ideas…. there are also some essential fact checks to think about…. a quick read through my checklist below will help you make a more realistic decision.

Remember the old saying “A pet is not just for Christmas”. Someone will have to clean up the ‘pooh’ at the end of it….everything.

Essential Fact Check No. 1 –

Kind of pet

The type of pet for children you can bring into your home will depend on a number of things such as the following:

The age of your children – a two year old will not be able to handle a slow pet and certainly will not be able to handle the pet…

How much will pets cost – not only to buy – but to care for on a daily basis?

What size pet does your child want? – What space will be needed? A hamster does not take up much space, but guinea pigs, ferrets and rats need larger cages.

How much time do your children and you as a family have to give to the pet?

Will your family be safe with the pet? Will the pet be safe with your family?

If you have a bigger pet like a dog, cat, or goat what effect will it have on your family, friends and neighbors?

How your pet will be taken care of during your holidays.

Will your family cope with the death of a pet?

Some pets will sleep most of the day and be awake at night. Hamsters can be very noisy at night!

If your child wants a dog you will need to look at the dog’s breed, size and exercise needs.

Do you already have another pet, what effect will it have on this pet. For example, will your dog get along with a cat or rabbit or bird?

Essential Fact Check No. 2 –

Your children’s age

You will need to decide on a pet that is appropriate for the age of your children.

For example in most cases it would not be good to buy a hamster for a two-year-old child who is still adapting to the world around them and may not know or be able to handle the hamster gently.

Do you want to give your child some responsibility in caring for an animal? Some children are very responsible and will be able to handle it. Other children, well see a baby animal just too attractive, after all who can resist a cute puppy or kitten or baby hamster?

At first you may need to help your children, because taking care of a pet is a very responsible job. As a parent or caregiver you will always need to supervise the care of a pet.

As a parent or caregiver, you will need to decide if your child is old enough to handle and care for a pet. How many times have parents heard the cry “oh but we promise we’ll take him for a walk every day”

Or “we’ll clean it out mom, we promise”. How will you feel at a time when you find yourself taking care of the pets because the children are busy with friends or go on a school trip or flooded with homework or just plain bored with the poor.

Check out essential fact number 3 –

The true cost of pets for children

Some pets are very cheap to buy for example hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish. gerbils, fancy rats, fancy mice and rabbits and even ferrets.

You will still need to consider:

The cage set up (this can be very expensive considering the size of the cage that most pets need) in fact they need the largest cage you can handle

Food expenses per week

bed

Vet bills if your pets get sick.

for example, ferrets need a shot every year against canine distemper.

Holiday care – you will need to pay for this of course if you cannot rely on friends and family.

Larger pets for children such as goats, and pedigree dogs and cats are more expensive to buy initially, some costing hundreds of pounds.

You will need to consider:

bed and a cage (if you are buying one for your dog or cat)

Dog leads and collars.

Food bill

Vet bills (dogs should have an annual checkup with a vet)

Games

Holiday care (nest can be very expensive)

Flea treatment

Ongoing veterinary expenses if your pets become chronically ill.

Check out essential fact number 4 –

Space required

Even small children’s pets like guinea pigs, fancy rats and ferrets need plenty of cage space for a happy life. They will need the largest cage you can find space for. These pets also need space to exercise outside the cage.

Cats take up a lot of space, as do small breeds of dogs.

The dogs will need a decent sized yard as well as walks to keep them well exercised.

Check out essential fact number 5 –

Time for your pets

Do you and the family have time for a pet.

For smaller pets you will need to get them out of the cage and be handled every day for at least 2 hours a day.

Do you have time to clean your pet at least once or twice a week, or even every day?

Some pets will certainly need the toilet corner of their cage to be cleaned more often to avoid a cage with pets that smell bad.

Water bottles and food bowls will need to be cleaned and refilled daily.

Will you be able to walk your dog at least once a day? – depending on the breed some need more!

Do you want to take care of your pet for children for several years some may live?

(From 18 months to 2 years for a mouse to 15 years for a dog)

If you’re out of work all day and the kids are at school all day, your pets will need and demand attention when you get home.

Check out essential fact number 6 –

The safety of your pet and family

You will always need to ensure the safety of your children when they are spending time with any pet.

Even small pets can bite and leave a wound.

Dogs should not be left alone with your children because they are unpredictable. Even a loyal dog will bite and even attack a child if they are in pain or scared. It happens rarely – but it happens.

You will also need to ensure the safety of your pets: Can your child handle a pet safely without harming it?

Is your pet safe with any other animals in the household? – if you have small children and a dog …. you will need to make sure that the dog cannot escape because a door is accidentally left open.

If you have a dog you need to ensure the safety of visitors as you can be sued if your dog bites someone on your property (or even on your property)

Make sure that when children’s pets have free time out of the cage:

Other pets cannot harm them

They cannot chew electrical wires

They can not fall into the toilet or bath water.

They cannot escape through gaps in walls or floors

They cannot go outside without supervision

Check out essential fact number 7 –

Effects on family and neighbors

The whole family must agree if you are getting pets. Pets can be noisy and messy which has an effect on family life.

What effect will a pet like a dog have on Grandma who suffers from an allergy – does this mean she can no longer visit?

If you get a dog, it will bark and howl when you leave it for any length of time and this will annoy your neighbors.

Does the dog bark when your neighbors are in their own garden.

How will your neighbors handle your pet cat’s mess in their garden?

You’ll need to keep your yard free of dog messes to ensure it doesn’t smell – especially in the summer months.

Check out essential fact number 8 –

Holiday and pet care for children

If you have pets for children what will happen to them during your holidays.

Do you have family or friends who can take care of your pet while you are gone?

Otherwise, you will have to pay for the care of your pets.

This will be expensive for dogs, cats and larger animals.

Even for small pets, holiday care can be expensive.

Check out essential fact number 9 –

Loss of a pet and grief

Some children are very sensitive and will be upset when their beloved pets eventually die, or are lost in some way.

This is especially distressing if the pet died as a result of an accident or disease.

How will you handle this?

Children will need to grieve, grief is a healthy part of a loss reaction. We can suffer loss every day in a small way like not getting something we want, this causes a loss reaction and part of the healing for this is grief. If your child or another family member is struggling with grief, take a look at the following and see if it applies. The grieving process has seven stages that allow people to move on. Your family members can not go to them in order or spend a lot of time on anyone.

The stones are:

Shock, denial, guilt, anger, depression, negotiation, acceptance

Your child may want another pet, this is called negotiation and it is one of the steps in the grieving process.

If your child cannot have another pet, break down the hidden loss that the pet’s death has caused.

Could there be a loss of your child’s self-worth or self-esteem.

Have they lost their only companion.

Has your child lost the only person who listened to them.

When you talk, try to find out how your child feels and help them deal with the loss, and then work to accept it by doing some healthy negotiation.

Would your child be able to regain his sense of worth or self-esteem in another way? Maybe help out with a pet friend for example.

For some children it may be helpful to have a funeral service, so they can say goodbye properly.

(My son caught some hair from his beloved dog)

Our children handled the death of their pet really well and continued to have other pets, for other children though it has more of an effect so you will need to decide when or if to replace your child’s pet.

Essential Fact Check No. 10 –

Pets for kids are GREAT!

For the most part pets for children are good fun. They are often good company for your children especially if they are alone.

Our autistic daughter has changed a lot since we got her guinea pigs to care for. He won some imaginary games, we think this is because he talks to his guinea pigs.

We have to supervise it with them though.

Children can learn a lot from taking care of pets for children and having pets even when they are naturally lost.

Dogs can encourage the family to go out for exercise while walking the dog.

All our children love animals.

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