Parent Pointers: What to do When Your Child Badly Wants a Pet

Published on February 11, 2017

Cute girl playing with her dogCaring for toys is a simple responsibility for any child. They can put them away when they’re not the center of attention anymore and they don’t require maintenance, but what if it’s an actual animal? What if your child wants to have a pet? This decision would need a little more thought.

Stay Cool – Some kids will want a pet regardless of how much maintenance the animal needs. They want something because it’s cute or their friends have one. Under no circumstances should you get your child a pet, especially if they don't understand the responsibilities involved. It's possible that they would soon lose patience or interest once they've realized the true responsibilities of a pet owner.

Educate and Train – When your child insists on getting a pet with promises of being a good pet owner, you should give them the right education. There are dog and cat trainers who provide pet care workshops for children. You can also find articles and videos online about simple, everyday tips for food, comfort, and discipline. Train your child, so they would be properly equipped to handle their new baby.

Facing Realties – Caring for a pet means your child would have to see them get sick or even die. Bring them to a veterinary clinic and show a sympathy card. When they ask about it, tell them that it means someone else’s pet has died and it's a possible situation they could face in the future. You can even ask the veterinarian to let your child see some of the animals they're treating.

If after all of these steps, your child still wants a pet, then you might as well give them the chance. Once you choose a pet, your goal is to teach a deep sense of responsibility and love for them in your child. Be there to supervise at first and soon they’ll be doing a great job by themselves.