Should young children have pets? – Part 3

Young children should have pets, but only if the parents are going to make sure that the pet is looked after properly. A child should not be given total control of one or more pets as they do not have the capability that most adults have to determine the level of care that a pet needs. All children like furry cuddly animals, but they don’t think of the not so nice jobs, such as cleaning up after an accident or if the animal becomes sick. Having a pet is an extremely good way to teach children the importance of giving the pet , whether it is a hamster, guinea pig, fish, cat or dog etc. the care, love and attention the pet will need.

A child might beg you to get them a pet and say that they will look after it always.

Children however, have no concept of long term care or of how a pet needs to be kept healthy, for example, routinely cleaning out a cage, washing food bowls, making sure the cage or fish tank is kept clean. These chores very quickly become boring for young children, and they most probably will not have the necessary skills needed to do the job properly. At first, looking after a pet is a novelty and the child will be keen to do all they can to look after it.

Once a couple of days have passed you might start to hear them(children) say that they don’t want to go all that way to the kitchen to get some cat, dog or fish food, yes, then you realise that the novelty has definitely worn off, and you will be left to provide all the care that your young child has got fed up doing!

So be warned, if you suspect that your child will become bored, and that all the chores will have to be carried by you alone , think carefully before committing to getting a pet. If you want a pet as much as the child , then there shouldn’t be a problem , as you will know how much care and attention the pet is going to need, and this will not present so much of a problem later on when your child has lost interest. In this case ask yourself if a large or small creature will be most beneficial.

Having said this, some children will have more maturity than others and will be capable of looking after a pet once they have been taught how to do this properly.

A pet is a good way of fostering responsibility and teaching a child that animals need respect and love just like us humans.

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