“Mamaaa, papaaa – I would like a pet! Can I please have a dog?” As a parent, you hear this statement at least once regarding the desire for a pet. Maybe not necessarily a dog, of course, it could just as easily be a wish for a cat, guinea pig or something similar depending on whether you are also an animal fanatic or not, you are positive or negative about this wish. But why do children want animals and what are the positive and negative aspects?
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At What Point Does The Desire For A Pet Arise?
In the beginning, a cuddly toy is enough to snuggle with – but soon, at the latest when a friend of your child has a cute pet, the question ”Can I please have a pet too?” comes up. Studies have shown that the desire for a pet is strongest among six- to twelve-year-olds – even ahead of computers, a happy family, vacations or “becoming famous”. Of course, you want to fulfill this desire for your loved one, however, as a parent, you should give some thought before rushing to buy a pet.
A Hasty Purchase Of A Pet Is Not Advisable
“I want to be a pilot” – then the next day a doctor, astronaut, animal keeper. Children are not particularly constant in their wishes – at least as far as their choice of profession is concerned. Just as these desires fluctuate, so can the desire for a pet.
This is a good reason to wait a bit before getting a pet. However, if this desire remains constant over time, you as parents may want to think about whether it would be a good idea. However, this is a decision that affects the whole family – which is why everyone should agree to the acquisition of a pet.
The Desire For A Pet – When Is The Right Time?
There is no specific age at which you can say “now is the right time to get a pet”. Rather, you should look at how responsible your child is and listen to your gut. At kindergarten age, it may actually be a bit early, but by elementary school at the latest, children can take care of an animal with the help of their parents’ support. It is important that you explain to your child the proper handling of the animal. It must know what a great responsibility a pet is and that it is not only there to cuddle and play with. Of course, there are different requirements for different pets – dogs need to be walked, cats need to have their litter box cleaned and rodents or birds need to have their cage cleaned. You can draw up a kind of “contract” for this, in which it is recorded what duties your child has in relation to the animal and what the consequences are for non-compliance with these duties.
Advantages Of Acquiring An Animal
- General, positive development on the child.
- Early development of a sense of responsibility.
- Dealing with death/loss is also learned.
- Animals bring joy not only to the children, but mostly to the whole family.
Disadvantages Of Acquiring An Animal
- Causes costs.
- If the child neglects the duties, they remain with the parents.
If you can afford an animal financially and in terms of time, I personally can only recommend that you comply with your child’s wish. You have found a real friend in the animal and it brings joy to everyone – even my father was very quickly infatuated with my guinea pigs, even though he didn’t want any at the beginning.