A pet can be a lovely addition to a family. A loyal friend with whom you will share many memories, teach your children compassion, love and kindness as well as responsibility. It is also time consuming, anti spontaneous and costly.
When thinking about committing to a pet you need to take into account that this is a commitment for the next 15 years or so. In this timeframe a lot will happen. You might move homes, countries, make very different choices than your current ones. A pet have to fit with all of those.
Furthermore, there will be things you’ll want to do and won’t be able to, because of your pet. Some holidays, certain flats. These must be all taken into account. Of course, where children are concerned, a pet and child can form a wonderful and unique bond, one that doesn’t require a lot of words.
However, it’s not always movie like, where the bond is instant and easily formed. Our own dog didn’t take to our kids immediately. She did not approach immediately, she initiated contact very suspiciously and it took her a long time to relax and enjoy herself around the kids.
That being said, she is very protective of them, which we love and appreciate. She respects their natural curiosity including poking, pulling and being a bit rough with her. It is always our responsibility to monitor the communication and better it by guiding both our children and our pets.
We can do that by insuring they have quality time together, that we ourselves treat them with love and respect and set the right example for our kids, that they encounter other pets and that they be trusted with pet related chores. One of the things our children are responsible for is giving our dog her dinner. That could be a wonderful way for them to take part in taking care of her.