I grew up with a Sharpei breed dog and her name was Piglet. I feel like every family is like the Disney’s 101 Dalmations and every family tends to find pets that fit their personality. We have some fabulous Le Top collections coming up from our pre-fall collection that are called “A Walk in the Park” that are so cute for kids who love dogs! Some doctors suggest that it’s ideal to bring home your family’s furry friend when your child is 5 or 6; at this age kids fully comprehend that pets are living creatures and not moving stuffed animals.
In a study of 5-year-olds at Purdue University, more than 40 percent said they turn to their pet when they feel sad, angry, or have a secret to share. The study also found that 5- and 6-year-old pet owners expressed more empathy to their peers than those who don’t have an animal around the house.
Here are some tips on how to pick your perfect pet!
1. It’s All About Space
Where you live should be a factor in the type of pet you choose. In general, the bigger the pet, the more space it needs. If you live in a small space, look for smaller animals like a hamster, a cat, or a smaller breed of dog such as a Jack Russel Terrier. If you have a lot of extra room, a larger animal such as a Rottweiler may be a possibility for you. Fish are a good choice for most spaces as long as you take into consideration the fact that the fish will grow and may need a large tank.
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2. Family Dynamics
If you have children, you should take their ages into account when you are choosing a family pet. Younger children are generally more compatible with animals they don’t play with, such as fish. Older children can learn to handle and take responsibility for most pets. Another consideration is your child’s activity level. A puppy may be better suited to a house with an active child, while an older dog will be better suited to a family with a calmer child.
3. The Time Factor
Your family’s schedule should be a big consideration when you are choosing a family pet. Fish, reptiles such as snakes, amphibians such as frogs, and small animals such as hamsters are good for a family that is rarely home or that doesn’t want to have to walk an animal. Birds are good for a family that is home often but doesn’t want to walk an animal. Dogs and cats are good pets for a family that is home a lot and that want a real companion that needs attention and training.
4. Care Considerations
Every pet will need some type of care. Take into consideration the amount of time and money you are willing to spend on your pet. Also, consider food, bedding, accessories, veterinary bills and housing needs. The amount of time you will spend cleaning up after your pet is something you should also think about.
5. Pet Allergies?
Some pets have dander and fur such as cats, dogs and birds. My fiancé has a Labradoodle (a Labrador dog and Poodle mixed) that is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed which is great for kids with allergies! If anyone in your family has allergies, take their allergies into consideration when you are choosing a family pet. Think about any bedding that the pet might need since some people are allergic to certain types of trees and grasses. Some pets need a substrate made of pine shavings or moss. Pets that will spend time outside may bring in dust and pollen, which are both allergens.
Good luck in your pet hunt!