The Wonderful Relationship Between Child and Pet
As the pandemic takes its physical and emotional toll on businesses and individuals across the world, it may be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, families in Singapore are experiencing the joys of home-based learning in the midst of the chaos caused by the virus. Venessa Lee describes how children experienced small pleasures including more play, more free time and simply spending time with family members. As a way to further supplement their emotional development, investing in a pet can boost their happiness while teaching lessons in responsibility. Because this can be a complicated decision to make, there are several factors that you should keep in mind.
What are the benefits of getting a pet for your child?
Firstly, owning a pet can teach your child the vital skill of empathy. Tending to their pet when he or she is hungry, scared, or needs to play outside is vital. In addition, they can improve their verbal skills. Often, very young kids who are still learning how to talk have the confidence to chat away with their pets. Practising how to socialise and interact with another being can rapidly improve this skill. Furthermore, young children can handle simple tasks such as filling their pet’s food and water bowls, eventually grooming and walking their pets as they grow older. Lastly, a Huffington Post article explains how pets can be therapeutic for children by lowering blood pressure and reducing stress and anxiety.
When is your child ready for a pet?
If you want your child to shoulder some of the responsibilities attached to owning a pet, you should wait until they are mature enough to handle these. Ms. Chong Poh Choo of the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore explains how children aged four to five are generally too young to have a pet. However, older children also have an added responsibility to complete their schoolwork which may be distracting. She emphasises how family members should be willing to be involved when it comes to taking care of their pets, with the parents taking the lead. For instance, if a pet becomes ill, children may not necessarily be able to tell that something is wrong right away.
What type of pet should you get?
If you have limited space in your home, you’ll probably be better off with a smaller-sized pet. Make sure to look over any guidelines and regulations for your condominium before coming to a decision. For many children, having a dog is the ultimate dream. Jane Adamson’s guide to the best dog breeds for condos describes how dachshunds, in particular, are playful and sweet with kids. French bulldogs are also a great option for first-time pet owners but require a lot of companionship to thrive. Alternatively, a slightly lower-maintenance option may be a goldfish or rabbit. Either way, all of these pets come with significant responsibilities. In addition to condo rules and regulations, there is a list of approved breeds for HDB flat dwellers, namely a mixture of small and medium-sized dogs. Note that interested adopters are allowed to keep only one dog per flat.
Finally, considering any allergies in the family, as well as the financial costs, are also crucial. In Singapore, you should check out ethical avenues once you decide on the type of pet you want to add to your family. Often, pet shops have a bad reputation for the maltreatment of animals, so you want to do your research and ensure that you find the best fit. It’s always best to adopt instead of shopping for a new pet. A great option is to adopt a pet from places like SPCA or ALL so that you can rescue a pet and give him or her a forever home. This way, you and your child can form lasting relationships with your new loved one and create wonderful new memories. It’s worth emphasizing that there are many dogs in shelters waiting for their forever homes, so when you choose a companion, know that it’s for life.