Every Family Needs a Pet

By Amy Mascott

Every Family Should Have a Pet

Pets are work. Pets are dirty. Pets are expensive. Pets are not our thing. We don’t have room for a pet.  We don’t have the money for a pet. Our kids are allergic to animals.

Sound familiar? If so, read on.

Maybe what you said is true, but every family needs a pet. There. I said it. And I’ll boldly say that though I strongly believe that every family needs a pet, I’ll also boldly say that every pet is not for every family.

But the great thing is that there is a perfect pet for every family. It’s just a matter of working together, doing some research and putting in some time in order to figure out what that perfect pet is for your family.

The reasons that every family needs a pet are not hard to nail down.

  1. Pets teach responsibility.  Kids, with a parent’s support, need to learn all that is involved in keeping another living thing alive and thriving. They will learn about food, water and warmth and about cleanliness and comfort. They will learn about consistently doing these jobs so that the animal stays alive and healthy.
  2. Pets teach kindness and compassion. Keeping the animal alive is one thing, but it’s another to talk to it, treat it kindly and give it a good life. Pets are a perfect stepping stone for teaching children about empathy, and kids will feel so proud of themselves for taking care of another living thing.
  3. Pets bring people closer. It’s true. Kids feel connected to one another when they can talk about their pets. Siblings will feel closer when they work together to take care of their pet. Families are more fun when there’s another living being added to the mix. The more, the merrier.   So how do you find that perfect-for-you pet?  How do you break out of the rescue dog mold?   Pets come in all shapes and sizes. Consider thinking outside the box:
  • Fish (salt or freshwater)
  • Ant farms
  • Birds
  • Hermit crabs
  • Lizards
  • Turtles
  • Bunnies
  • Backyard chickens or egg incubation programs
  • Pet shares – one month the pet is at your house and the next he’s at a friend’s or neighbor’s
  • Dog walking for a neighbor
  • Gerbils
  • Earthworms

What other pets should folks consider? Have any cool ideas?