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3 Ways to Assess Pet Readiness

by Lori Sciame | May 23rd, 2023 | Social, Tweens

tween with cat (400x400)Bringing a new pet into the home can be an amazing experience or an awful one, especially when tweens are involved.  While pre-teens may express a desire for a cat or a dog, they simple do not understand the tremendous work that comes along with owning a pet.  When it goes bad, one of two things will usually happen: mom or dad take over the responsibility of the pet’s care, or they work to find the animal a new home.

How can a parent assess whether a tween is truly ready for pet ownership?  There are a number of ways, including the three outlined below.

1.  Practice Makes Perfect

A tween will be more apt to follow through with daily pet care if he or she has taken care of animals in the past.  For instance, does grandma have a cat?  If yes, encourage grandma to allow your child to help care for the feline.

Or maybe the neighbor next door needs a dog walker?  If yes, let your child know that if he tackles the job of dog walker successfully for three months, then you will see he is able to take care of a pet.

Another idea includes spending time at the local animal shelter.  If your daughter wants her own pet, set up regular times for her to volunteer at the shelter if possible.  She will learn that care of pets is an ongoing process; there’s no “skipping a day” when one doesn’t feel like going.

2. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Tweens tend to beg parents for a lot of material goods. Begging for a pet will also occur.  Teach your tween that he or she will value something more, be it new basketball shoes, a state of the art tablet, or even an animal, if she pays for it – at least partially – herself.

Side jobs, such as mowing, shoveling, babysitting, and cleaning all offer ways for tweens to make money to put towards purchasing a pet.  It does take a long time to reach $100 – $200 doing side jobs; therefore, only serious tweens will follow through long enough to obtain the money necessary for pet ownership.

3.  Do Your Research

A serious tween will tackle potential pet ownership with zeal. He will read massive amounts of material about the breed he wants, including learning about the animal’s specific traits and health concerns.  In essence, he will become a walking encyclopedia of facts concerning the animal he eventually wants to own.

Learning everything he can about pet ownership certainly points towards the notion that he is ready to  bring home that German Shepard!

Tweens and pets can be a great thing – or it can be a disaster. Make sure to assess your tweens readiness for a new cat or dog BEFORE you bring the pet into your home.  Will your tween be able to handle the responsibility?  The three tips above will help you to decide the answer to that question.

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