Adopting A Pet For Your Child? Here’s What You Need To Know

Maximus Escouri
Kid with pet

The coronavirus pandemic has forced Aussies into lockdown at homes. Stuck in their homes, people are turning to pets as companions. But animal rescue groups are concerned that some Australians could be looking at pet adoption as a quick fix solution during these disruptive times.

Animal adoption rates have risen sharply throughout Australia as we continue to social distance. In Canberra, for instance, pet adoption has doubled since the virus outbreak. But feeling bored or lonely are not good enough reasons to bring a pet into your life. Pets are a lifetime commitment. They come with responsibilities. There are costs attached and time involved.

Benefits of Adopting a Pet for your Children

Adopting a rescue animal is an altruistic decision. When you adopt an animal, you are saving the life of that animal. Bringing a rescue animal into your life frees up resources to save other animals.

Everyone deserves a crisis companion, and pets make great companions. Pets can provide a lot of emotional support, entertainment, and fun for children. They can teach your child values and social skills. Learning how to care for a pet teaches your child responsibility, commitment, compassion, and cooperation.

Adopting a Pet is a Lifetime Commitment

kids with pet

Adopting a pet in your home should not be a spur-of-the-moment decision. It is a lifetime commitment that has consequences for the entire family. The pet is going to love your child (and you) unconditionally. In return, they have to be cared for and loved as well.

It is important to note that pets have expenses too. These can include adoption fees, bedding, pet food, vaccinations, veterinary fees, toys, leash, and cages. You may also need to make certain adjustments to the home before you bring the newest member of the household home. Before you adopt a pet, you have to be 100% committed to supporting it for as long as its natural life.

Pets demand your time. If you adopt a puppy or kitten, you will have to allow time to toilet-train it. Dogs of all sizes require exercise. Even independent animals like cats and hamsters need your time to feed, clean, groom, and care for them. Consider a pet like another child except that your child will grow up eventually and be able to look after himself or herself. Your pet stays pretty much as they are when they first came to you. You will still need to feed them. Bathe them. Groom them. Play with them. And of course, love them for as long as they remain in your home.

Understanding the Pet Adoption Process

Pet in hand

Choosing the right pet for your family is an important process. Adopting a pet is a decision for the entire family. Considerations include your home environment, the ages of your children, your finances, and the time you have to dedicate towards the wellbeing of the animal.

If you are keen to adopt a pet, the RSPCA website has a plethora of information to help you begin this exciting journey of bringing a pet home.

Here are some things to consider when adopting a pet:

  • Adopting a Dog

Adopting a dog or puppy for your kid is an exciting time.  Take time to decide on the type and breed of dog that is right for the family.  Your decision should include whether the home environment is suitable for the dog.  For example, do you have a backyard for a larger dog to roam?  You should also consider the temperament of the dog.  Some breeds are better with toddlers and babies than others.   If you are looking for some information on the best dogs to adopt for kids and families, try reading Goodhousekeeping.com blog.    

Finally, don’t forget that if you are adopting a puppy, it will eventually grow into a full-sized dog so your decision should be based on what the dog will become rather than how cuddly and cute it is at the time of adoption.

  • Adopting a Cat

Cats are wonderfully low maintenance companions for the family. However, they still require care and affection so it is important to think about cat ownership responsibility before you choose to take one home. Some of the things you may want to consider are the cat’s suitability to the environment including the presence of other pets, young children, and babies.

  • Adopting Other Animals

adopting a rabbit

There are many species to choose from including birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, chickens, rabbits, and even fishes. Just because these animals are small, does not mean they may not have large complex needs. For example, birds are social animals and are best kept in pairs. They also need a safe indoor space to fly. Guinea pigs are cute and fluffy (my niece has got one) but they can be easily injured or stressed if handled inappropriately. Rabbits live in cages but they also require plenty of exercises outdoors. They also need to be supervised around small children.

Pets are for Life

How you choose your perfect pet depends on your living arrangements, schedule, activity levels, and budgets. When you welcome a pet into your home, expect to give it consistent attention and care. Pets can be demanding on your wallet and your time but the joy and happiness you see in your child’s face will be priceless.

 NEWS FLASH! You can now use your Active Kids and Creative Kids vouchers to redeem tuition fees at Top Kidz. If you live in NSW, download your vouchers on the NSW Active Kids and Creative Kids websites respectively.  Use these vouchers to claim $100 off your kid’s online music, art, yoga, and fitness classes! 

Sydneysiders Are Turning to Chooks for Pets

Even before the pandemic, trendsetting Sydneysiders were already turning to chickens as pets.  According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a whopping 416,000 families in Sydney are rearing chickens in their backyards.   That makes chickens, the fourth most popular pet after dogs, cats and fishes.   Why chickens?  One family interviewed by the paper has the answers – they eat scraps and leftovers, keep the children happy, and lay eggs for breakfast.

Australia is now experiencing a panic buying of live chickens and many poultry farmers are reporting a shortage of supply.  If you can still lay hands on a couple of chooks, you will find the tips below useful:

  • ChickenGuard is an automatic locking device you can install in the coop. ChickenGuard unlocks the coop every morning and locks it in the evening. That way your chooks can roam free range in the day and stay safe from predators at night.

  • The Spruce has 13 DIY chicken coops designs you can build for your new pets.

  • The ABC ran an article on how to entice your chickens to lay eggs. Some of the tips include golf balls, mood lighting, nest box, and paper mâché eggs.

Unable to get your hands on some chickens but still want your children to experience the joys of caring for a chook?  Try the RSPCA’s virtual Cheeky Chooks. Download from Apple App and Google Play Store. 

Have Fun!

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