[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hether you want to have a cat, a dog, a bird or a fish – introducing a new pet to the family is a big deal. Kids don’t always know what to do with pets. So it’s your job to help them learn and adjust.
Pets too feel awkward and scared when they move to their new homes. Learning to trust people and feeling comfortable is not easy. This may actually take time and quite a lot of patience on your part.
But once these barriers are broken, your kids and your pet will share the most beautiful bond. To make the transition easier, there are certain things you should do as a parent. Here are some tips that will actually help you out.
How Kids Benefit from Growing Up with Pets
Pets can have a positive impact on the overall development of children. So before we begin to learn about introducing them, it’s important to understand the significance of their role.
Pets are Therapeutic to Kids
Pets give children emotional safety. Animals possess a pure conscience and an innocent mind, just like kids. This makes it easy for them to relate to each other on a deeper level.
Kids with PTSD and Autism have especially benefited from being with pets. These kids feel safe with the pets, because they can sense their unconditional love and devotion.
Pets Develop Social Skills in Kids
Kids learn a lot of social skills from their pets. Believe it or not, kids feel more at ease expressing themselves to their pets, than to their human family.
This may be because they feel that animals don’t judge or criticize them.
Pets help kids trust the world around them and express their authentic selves fully.
Pets are Lifetime Companions
You will notice that once they come home, kids will rather see their pets first. This is a proof of how much they rely on their pet companions over human companions.
Pets provide unconditional love and support. When you get your kids a pet, you’re actually getting them a best friend for life.
What Kind of Pets are Kid Friendly?
The animal kingdom is gloriously large. Some people even dream of having cheetahs and alligators as pets. But I’m sure you know, they are not the safest option when you have kids.
Cats, dogs, birds, bunnies, hamsters and fishes are great pets for kids. Even then, the breeds you get make a huge difference. Your pet should meet your lifestyle requirements. And ofcourse, they should be gentle and well trained.
By all means, avoid adopting snakes, spiders, lizards and turtles. Although these creatures are gorgeous, they carry the bacteria Salmonella. Tending to these pets may also be more complex than the furry ones.
Monkeys, ferrets, hedgehogs and sugar gliders are also a bad idea for kids. Taking care of these animals may be too much for the little ones.
Helping Your New Pet Adjust to its New Home
Adjusting to a new home is a challenge even for humans. So imagine how difficult it must be for pets, who can’t even speak! As for your kids, you need to educate them on how be responsible and take care of their new friend.
But don’t worry, you can certainly help out. Scroll down to learn how you can be there for them every step of the way while they are adapting.
1. Establish Authority
You should not jump into this method until your new pet has spent a few days in the house. But this is still an unskippable part of making everyone adjust.
Dogs for example, are pack animals. They may pick on the weakest member of the family if they are not taught who the authority in the household is.
At the beginning, you must supervise your pet when they’re with your kids. To avoid accidents, you have to give them slow training.
It is better that the new pet learns about the ins and outs of the house rules before they start budding with infants and toddlers.
2. Be Loving
We understand that rules are necessary, but so is love. Remember, your pet is new to your house, and it needs to feel loved and safe to be part of your family.
So, speak to them kindly, pat them when you feed them and play with them often. You must also teach your kids the right way to behave around your pet.
Teach your kids to pat them gently, and never pull or wrestle with pets. Sometimes, pets become overexcited. It’s important to notice the signs and o keep your kids away from them during those times to avoid accidents.
To be on the safe side, it is better for younger kids and infants to keep their distance from new pets until they are fully trained.
3. Start Potty Training
Going potty all over the house is not ideal for you, your kids or even your pet. So potty training is definitely necessary.
Potty training will take time and patience.You have to set a specific potty place for your pet. This can be a crate for dogs, a litter box for cats or a even a cage for bunnies. You can also just take them outside to do their business.
Make sure take your pet to the same pot spot daily during the times it usually has to potty. Always make sure to praise for eliminating in the right place. This will encourage it to repeat the task.
Just to be careful, it is always wise to invest in a pet carpet cleaner. You never know when you might need them.
4. Give Your Pet Some Space
Because it is so cute and cuddly, your new pet will be getting a lot of attention once it moves in to your place. At least for the first few days, you should give it some space to adjust.
You can take this chance to establish boundaries for your pet. This will help it understand which areas are off-limits. Let your kids know about this as well, so they can help each other maintain house rules.
A little time on it own will help your pet familiarize with its new surrounding. But don’t leave it alone for too long. You don’t want it to feel abandoned and isolated.
5. Pets Need Help Getting Along
Your new pet may not be your very first. Maybe you already have a cat or a bird. This brings another level of difficulty, because you never know how they’ll react to each other.
Some pets get along quickly, while others develop a love-and-hate relationship. Cats and dogs sniff each other out before they trust the other party. Other animals may just glare at each other and move on with their own businesses.
It’s okay for all of your pets to not become best buds immediately. But, you arranging play time together gives them the opportunity to bond. Let your kids join them in the game as well for a blast!
Having a new pet in the house is very exciting. Bet you’ve seen all those viral videos of pets and kids on the internet! Maybe that prompted you to get a pet for your kids. Well I say you made a good decision.
Although an addition in the family requires new adjustments and rules, having a cute little animal by your side can soften your heart. But remember, you’ve got to be strict about certain things and start teaching them early on.
With enough patience, love and training, your pet will adjust to your family in no time!