Raising a pet is lots of fun and it is so nice having your very own little (or big) friend who you can play with and talk to, who loves you just for being you.
But did you know that raising a pet is not as easy as you might think?
There are lots of things you have to think about and do. So how about we go through what you need to know before getting your very own pet.
Do I have time for a pet?
If after school you have sports or other activities and on the weekends you and your family are not home very much then perhaps a dog is not the best choice for you. A dog requires lots of time spent with it walks every day, training and play time.
Can your family afford a pet?
Owning pets cost money. Even though your parents pay for everything, it will cost them a lot of money to keep your pet healthy and happy. You have to buy things like a collar, kennel or bed, lead, bowls and food. But those are just the everyday stuff. Just like you and me, pets can get sick once in a while. Going to the vet can be cost lots of money! Maybe you can suggest to your parents about pet health insurance?
Where do I get my pet from?
There are so many wonderful furry and feathered pets looking for their very own fur-ever homes in shelters. So why not adopt your new friend. They will love you so much for saving them!
So you convinced your parents into getting a pet!
That is awesome! I think pets are the best thing ever.
How about learning some cool stuff on how to look after your pet so that your parents are so happy they agreed with you to get a pet!
Sound like a plan?
1. Remember to give your pet lots of love and affection! Whether it is a dog, cat, bird or mouse they love it when you pat and talk to them and show them how much you really love them. They are your best friend!
2. Always remember to play with them! Imagine if you never had anyone to play with and had to sit in your bedroom every day. Boring! When pets get bored they can get a bit naughty (just like us). Mum and Dad might even get upset if your pet gets naughty. So make sure you play with them every day and take them for a walk. Cats and birds do not usually like going for walks so lots of play time is very important.
3. Do not forget to give your pet food and clean water. It can be easy to forget to do this when you are playing with them all the time! But if you help your parents by filling up the water bowl or helping to get your pets dinner they will be surprised at how grown up and responsible you are!
4. No one likes a dirty smelly pet! Phew, no way! So do not forget to give your dog a bath when they get smelly. Cat’s usually groom themselves all clean, so no need to worry about baths if you have a cat. Did you know that birds love to splash around in a little dish of clean water at the bottom of their cage? Dogs and cats also love a good brush to make their fur all shiny and knot free. Oh yeah, remember to pick up their waste in the yard, clean out the kitty litter and the birdcage tray. Sure who likes that job, but no one not even pets like to live in a dirty and smelly environment!
5. Make your pet smart! How cool is it to show your friends and family how smart your pet is? Try to train your pet to be calm when people come over. Especially if you have a dog, no one likes a dog jumping up on their nice clean clothes! Your local shelter usually has puppy and dog classes that you can attend. Why not ask your parents to help in training too? Teaching your pet tricks is so much fun, even cats and bird can learn cool stuff!
6. Remember to remind your parents to take them to the vet for regular check ups; this is especially important if they are feeling unwell. You probably know them better than your parents, because you play with them every day. So if you think they are acting strange, not wanting to play or not eating then that could mean something is wrong and he or she might be feeling sick. All pets should go to the vet for a check up at least once a year!
7. Safety is important! All pets should be contained at your place and should not be walking around the streets by themselves. They could get hit by a car!
8. Try not to keep your pet locked in the yard or house all day with nothing to do. Even though you do have to keep them safe at home. You also need to make sure they do not get stressed out and scared being all alone while you are at school. This can make them chew up all your cool stuff. To try and avoid this you need to give them a few toys to play with, like a Kong toy filled up with wet and dry dog food or what about a sand pit, you can hide treats in the sand to search for. Your parents might even agree to another pet as a friend to play with (you will probably need to show them that you can do all the other stuff first with the pet you have now before they allow you to get another one!).
Check out this cool infographic by Cutiepitooties
If you can remember to do all of these things you will have a pet that everyone loves – Not Just You!