Pets have become more and more important for family life. The perfect picture of a family with two kids, a house, a white picket fence and a dog is thought about in the minds of a lot of people when they imagine a super family life.
Whether it’s a dog, a cat, a hamster, a rabbit, a parrot or even a fish, we see our pets as family members. When choosing a house pet, apart from fondness towards a certain kind of pet and previous experience, one must take into consideration different allergies a family member might have, as well as the rules and regulations of their residence. Different pets require different levels of care and knowing exactly how much time and care can give to a pet is a very important factor. When we were looking for our first dog, I read on-line which dogs are least to cause allergies even though no one in my family has allergies.
I grew up with dogs my entire life so I knew the responsibilities of taking care a pet. It is very sad when people get pets and only after the fact realize that the responsibility is too great for them so the pets either end up neglected or given away. Furthermore, one has to plan for all the expenses that come along with owning a pet. Everything from insurance to regular veterinarian check-ups and shots, medical emergencies, food and supplements, bedding, daycare if needed and care while away on trips, toys and accessories can end up being quite costly. My Shih-Tzu Teddy had to have surgery 3 years ago to remove a stone. It was very expensive. Nevertheless, if the budget allows us to give pets all they need to be healthy and happy they will repay us in many different ways.
Pets keep us company, seek and give attention and affection offering us pure and simple love. I could not imagine my day without my two dogs. They are always happy to see me and help me unwind after the stress of everyday life. They give me comfort in tough time and a sense of security. It is easy to be yourself with your pets, they are nonjudgmental.
A lot of couples and single people who for various reasons don’t have children opt to get pets instead. At the same time, plenty of couples who plan on having children in the future gets pets to help them prepare for parenthood. After all, we do treat our pets just like our children and many of us acknowledge them as our own children. My dog Didi who is now almost 15 years old is my 3rd child. She follows me everywhere and is the sweetest dog.
Most children want pets desperately at least at some point in their life and plenty of parents are afraid of adding a pet to the family primarily because pets require almost as much attention as children and they don’t grow out of it. However, children form bonds with pets and learn how to take responsibility by caring for them as well as developing social skills. Studies show that pets are especially beneficial for children without siblings and children living in one-parent households.
It is a great lesson for a child to care for a pet on daily basis, as feeding, cleaning after them, grooming them and of course cuddling them which makes up for all those activities. My children when they were little loved and took care of our pets.It gives kids a clear picture of what it means to care for someone else and some idea of what parenting looks like. Watching a pet grow up and change with different milestones, a child gets used to the idea of change and learns that changes also occur in people as time passes. Pets also teach children about death and grieving when they pass away. As sad as loss and death that may be, it is a truth of life that a child needs to learn and find ways in which to accept it and adapt to it. Taking care of pets increases children’s self-confidence and gives them the pleasure of know that they have been entrusted and are able to take care of another living being.
However, pets can be messy and smelly and some require to training to be house broken which is much like potty training a toddler. Thankfully, there are plenty of good tips on how to establish ground rules of acceptable and desirable behavior in pets who need training. There are so many websites dedicated to pet training, TV-shows as well as professionals who can do it for you. It does take discipline to stick to the training rules but life with the pet gets much easier once the goals have been achieved. A lot of pets also create certain odors which make the whole house smell so keeping them and their bed, cages or living areas clean is very important. Families that work long hours and their is no one else home I would suggest a cat, bird etc. I feel a dog needs more attention and especially having to do bathroom duties. Everyone does have their own opinions and while deciding which pet is right for your family take that into consideration.
There have been a lot of studies done in order to determine whether owning a pet affects people’s health in a positive manner. Three are some indications that people who own a pet and have suffered a heart attack are more likely to live longer, than those who have had the same health issue but don’t own pets. Cuddling and spending time with pets has been linked to lower blood pressure rates as well. Plenty of studies shows that owning a pet is good for the self-esteem, lower feelings of loneliness and more positive outlook on life. Pets are also being more and more used in psychotherapy whether behavioral or emotional, especially in children and couples therapy.
So owning pets has numerous benefits and surely the pros outweigh the cons but the decision of whether or not to own a pet and even more importantly what kind of a pet to own depends on a whole list of different variables and it is very individual. Pets will drive you crazy more than ones and add to your daily chores and affect your budget, but they will also make your life much more dynamic, pleasurable, full of laughs and possibly even healthier. I couldn't go without one of my furry friends :)