Having pets at home can teach your children values, boost their self-esteem, and develop their immunity. Your children will also have a healthier heart when they live with pets because pets can reduce their stress levels and make them happier. However, as a parent or guardian, you have to take certain steps to ensure that your kids and their new pets actually get along.
Bringing a new pet at home can offer many benefits, but keep in mind that there will be challenges—and not knowing how to navigate through the challenges will only bring stress to your children and to your new pet. Fortunately, you can implement strategies to prevent this situation from happening.
When you’re parenting kids with new pets, these tips can come in handy:
1. Gradually Introduce The Pet To Their New Environment
Just like human beings, pets can also get stressed when introduced to a new environment. The sight of living with new people in a new home cause a lot of stress to pets.
To ensure that your new pet will love their new home, give them plenty of time to adjust. Instead of hosting a welcome party for them the moment they arrive, allow your pets to wander around your home and sniff their new environment.
Some pets will require months to feel comfortable in a new place, so don’t expect that they’ll immediately get along and play with your children. This is especially true if you’re going to adopt pets from shelters.
2. Train With Food
Training your pet is an important responsibility when you become a pet owner. Aside from teaching your pet how to behave properly around children and other humans, training them regularly can also curb aggressive behavior.
Your training sessions with your pet will be more productive if you do it with food. Make sure to consult your vet about the best foods and treats to give to your pet. Aside from their recommendation, you can also check reviews from influencers, such as Kate Barrington, to know what to expect when buying cat food or other types of food for other pets.
Food is like a currency to your pet, and giving them their favorite treats whenever they follow your commands will encourage them to do the same in the future.
3. Prepare For Chewing
As a parent or guardian, you know how babies love to chew as their teeth are developing. This is probably one of the reasons why your home contains several teethers for your little one. When taking care of pets, especially puppies, expect that they will behave the same.
Buying chew toys for your new pet is essential as this will prevent them from chewing on furniture and pairs of shoes lying around in your home. Aside from helping teething puppies and prevent destructive chewing, chew toys can also promote better dental health and provide mental stimulation.
If you want your kids to help, teach them how to take your new pet for walks, encourage them to play fetch together, and let them run around your backyard. These activities will keep your new pet busy and distract them from chewing.
4. Pet-Proof Your Home
Welcoming another pet in your home is like having another toddler to take care of. As a pet owner, you need to make sure that the new member of your family remains safe all the time. And you can achieve this goal when you exert time to pet-proof your home.
Before you welcome a pet in your home, put up gates in areas where you don’t want them to enter, remove any dangly decorations, and secure all of your cords and wires. It’s also important to use garbage bags with covers to prevent your pet from scavenging through them and bringing waste into different areas of your home.
5. Regularly Visit The Vet
Being a pet owner is an important responsibility that can be very overwhelming to most parents. More often than not, parents who decide to get a pet will have a hard time balancing both responsibilities.
Fortunately, you can still become the best parent and pet owner if you allow a vet to intervene. As a pet owner, you should regularly visit your vet to have your pet vaccinated, spayed, or neutered. You can also get your child to tag along so they’ll know the importance of working with a vet in keeping pets happy and healthy.
Parenting kids with new pets can be challenging at first, but you can eventually create a healthy relationship between the two if you’re willing to put some work into it. Aside from the tips presented in this article, don’t forget to remain patient and have fun during the entire process!