My kids are trying to persuade my wife and I that we need to get a pet. Many of their friends have dogs, cats, rabbits and several other combinations of animals. So far we’ve been reluctant to get on board with their request though.
Taking on a pet is a big commitment in both time and money. There are many good reasons for us to get a pet but equally there are several I can think of against the idea. It’s whether at this stage the pros outweigh the cons. That also comes down to what type of pet we might go for.
Probably the most boring option would be to get a fish. They’re relatively easy to care for by all accounts and they don’t need walks and probably won’t amass expensive vet bills. If you go on holiday, they’ll survive for up to 14 days on special fish food you can buy.
But you can’t cuddle a fish and you couldn’t consider them as a companion for your kids. I know people say they can be calming to watch. Although I don’t think my kids would thank me if we decided to get a fish as a pet. They’re just not interactive at all.
Whilst getting a fish might be my preferred option from a practicality point of view, I suspect it would be bottom of the pet list overall.
A rabbit would be closer to the type of pet we might go for. They’re cute and cuddly and would give the kids more of a challenge to look after than a fish. I suspect the novelty would wear off quickly with a rabbit though and I’d end up being the one looking after it.
I’ve heard that having a lone rabbit isn’t great because they’re naturally sociable. They need the company of another rabbit to stay healthy and have a fulfilling life. Rabbits don’t like to be handled particularly unless they’ve been used to it from an early age. I suspect that won’t really meet with my kids’ expectations of what they want in a pet.
I don’t want more than one pet at the moment and we don’t have the space to keep them inside part of the year when it gets cold. That rules out a rabbit as a pet pretty much.
When I was growing up we always had a cat as a pet. We lived on a farm so they helped to keep the mice population down. I have fond memories of them because they were very affectionate. They loved to spend time in the house but also lived independent lives outside much of the time.
I do some have misgivings about getting a cat though. We live near a busy main road and I’d hate for the kid’s brand new pet to get squished. Cats are notoriously fickle too. One minute they’re purring away and the next minute claws are out and their biting the hand that feeds them.
Still, if we do get a pet, a cat would be one of the main contenders. The kids would get a great deal out of caring for them and I know my daughter in particular would be thrilled.
Out of all of the pets my kids could have, a dog is what they really want. It’s what they always talk about. We had a dog as well as cats when I was a kid. I know how much they’d get out of having one.
Whilst I’m at home a dog would be a good companion to have. I have time to take them for walks and even take them running with me. We have an enclosed garden with a high fence and most dogs wouldn’t be able to get over or under it. Our house isn’t that big but it’d comfortably accommodate a small to medium-sized dog.
I’m mindful that we don’t have any relatives living nearby. Travelling over to Ireland with a dog to see family may be an issue. We’d also have to put it in kennels if we were away for any extended length of time. Nothing that would put me off but certainly things to consider.
It’s got to be a dog. The kids would get a lot out of having their companionship. I don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on one though. If the right rescue dog comes up then that would be the way to go. It’s got to be the right dog and we’ve got to be the right family.
Does your family have any pets? How did you decide what type was right for your family?