Deciding on a Pet

by Patrice on January 27, 2011 · 0 comments

in Pets


Pet ownership can be expensive, time consuming and labor intensive, but when the child asks for a pet, those are not arguments that the single mom can usually get away with using without a lot of continued pleading, arguing, and hurt feelings.

There is a good chance that the single mom had a pet as a child, because it’s estimated that approximately 90 percent of kids either have a pet or will have a pet while they are growing up. The right pet can give a special feeling of comfort and companionship. The wrong one can cause havoc.

There are benefits associated with children growing up in a home that has a pet. Children learn how to to be nurturing. In fact, kids with both pets and younger siblings spend more time taking care of their pets than they do the younger kids in the house, according to Dr. Melson of Purdue University.

Pets also provide the opportunity for the family to interact. Taking the dog for a walk, a game of Frisbee in the backyard with the dog, and even watching the cat’s antics after a catnip treat will bring the family closer as they share in the fun.

Once the single mom is open to bringing a pet into the home, the next step is choosing the right pet for her family. Space and time are usually the main factors in the choice. Dogs need more room to play in. Their care also takes up a lot of time. The smart single mom knows that the promises the kids make to take care of the dog will be quickly forgotten and she will be the one who has to feed and clean up after it.

Cats are easier to care for than dogs. In fact, as long as they have food, fresh water and a clean litter box, they are pretty much self reliant unless they decide they need some cuddling time. The downside is that cats can unintentionally scratch during a play session.

Fish don’t take up a lot of space. Aquariums and the assorted equipment can be expensive. A more frugal option would be a goldfish, which can live in a bowl without added equipment. Goldfish have been known to live for up to five years, but are very susceptible to tragic consequences if they are overfed.

For the single mom who doesn’t cringe at the idea of sharing her home with a rodent, hamsters or gerbils are an option for kids who want a tiny pet to cuddle. But, be aware that even a regularly cleaned cage can often smell.

There are many other types of animals that your children may want as pets, including ponies, snakes, ants and turtles. Before agreeing on an animal, the single mom has to know what she can afford in the way of caring for it, how much time the animal will need from her, and how the animal will interact with her family.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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