Why I Think it's Important to Have a Family Pet

Jun 9 2017 - 12:30pm
Dogs are great pets

Have you been thinking about getting a family pet? I think it's important to have one and here's why.

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I had all kinds of animals growing up, chickens, cows, goats, horses, rabbits and dogs. We lived on a farm and I loved it. There was a lot of work involved but just as much fun. The animals were my friends and pretty interesting to watch; we had a fainting goat that got rolled down a little hill because our cow was trying to help it get up. Since it's legs were stiff it would just roll back over, making it tense up even more; poor cow thought it was helping. Not only were the animal’s fun though, we learned a lot. Here's some of the reasons why I think it’s important to have a family pet:

  • You learn responsibility
  • You learn how to develop compassion for those dependent on you
  • Basic health practices for common injuries
  • There is a lot of bonding time for family members as you take care of your animal

Responsibility

We did a lot of the work ourselves. My parents were close by, but we wanted the animals so we needed to take care of them. They ate before we ate because they were dependent on us. We learned how care for another being and wanted to make sure everyone was taken care of during a storm. It became important to us that they were well cared for because that was a reflection of us and our character.

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Compassion

The animals are dependent on you. If you don’t feed them they don’t eat and if you only have one animal they depend on you for companionship as well. Kids start out very selfish and this can help them grow a little and learn to care for something simply out of love. You don’t get anything out of having a pet so this may help them learn to see people and situations not just for what they can get out of it but what may help everyone involved.

Basic First Aid
Somethings are worth going to the vet, but that can get expensive quickly. So, you learn first how to help prevent some basic injuries and sicknesses, like make sure they have clean bedding and shelter during a storm and that there are no objects they can cut themselves on in their living area. Next, depending on how many animals you have you may start to learn how to topically numb something and apply stiches, how to stop bleeding and transport an injured animal, how to identify the issue so you or the vet can better treat it, and how to administer shots when needed. A lot of this can transfer over to knowing how to handle a situation if you ever find yourself in one, or at least not panicking when it happens.

Bonding Time
If you have a farm like I did or just one family pet were the responsibilities are shared, there is a lot you can do with your pet as a family. Working on fences or feeding animals, you are all out there doing it as a family. Taking the dog for a walk or milking the goats gives you a chance to talk to one another and just be present with one another. A lot of my favorite memories were made when we were with the animals.

I think having a pet can be one of the greatest experiences that a kid can have, I know it was for me. You can learn a lot, not to mention it is just a lot of fun!

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