April is National Frog Month!
Be sure to congratulate the frogs in your life. Ribbit!
Pets For Your Family
So you’re ready to add a pet to your family! Good for you! I think kids and animals go together like hot fudge and ice cream. But you may be asking yourself what type of pet would be most suitable for your family.
Dog, cat, pocket pet (mouse, hamster, rat, guinea pig), reptile, bird, fish? Which one will fit your family dynamic most successfully? In the coming months I’ll be sharing facts on the different kinds of animals that are most commonly found as pets.
Adding a pet to your family should not be undertaken lightly. It is, after all, a lifetime commitment and there are lots of aspects to contemplate. Consider this:
Do you live in a house or an apartment?
* If it’s a house, you may have more freedom to choose a pet for your family. Some apartment complexes don’t allow pets or they may restrict the size or breed of pet you may have, this especially applies to dogs. It is not unheard of for rules requiring cats to be declawed to be in the rental agreement. If you live in a rental unit, be sure to check your contract to ensure you are allowed to have the pet of your choice. It can save untold future heartache.
How much space do you have to house an animal?
* The type of pet you decide on may depend on the area you have to house it. Dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, all take vastly different amounts of space.
How much time will you have to spend with your pet?
* Think about your lifestyle. If you are away from home much of the day, a cat, pocket pet, bird or fish may be a more viable option than a dog.
Are your children very small or older?
* Smaller children must be carefully monitored when around family pets, both for the child’s and the animal’s safety. Depending on your child’s age, they can be responsible for different aspects of animal care. Having a pet is the perfect opportunity to teach your children about compassion, caring for another living being and the correct (and safe) way to interact with their animal friends.
Does anyone in your family have allergies to animals?
* Steps can be taken to minimize allergic reactions to pets and are worth looking into should it become an issue in your home.
Do you love outdoor activities such as hiking or swimming or do you live a quieter lifestyle?
* Active families might enjoy a dog to accompany them on adventures. Those who live quieter lives can certainly enjoy a dog but may prefer a cat or pocket pet to share their home.
What budget will be available for animal care?
* Take a look at this website that calculates the cost of caring for a dog for a year. https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/dog-adoption/annual-dog-care-costs/ Cats require slightly less investment while pocket pets, birds and fish even less. This is an important factor when deciding on which pet would be best for your family.
What is your purpose in adding a pet to your family?
* Is it to teach your children responsibility? If so, be aware that you will be the pet’s main caregiver. Is it because your children have been asking for a pet? Again, remain aware that care of the pet will fall mainly to the adults in the house. If you want to add a family member that will bring love and friendship into your home, if you are interested in seeing how animals instill trust and self confidence in all members of your family, then congratulations! You are ready to add a pet to your family!
It’s time to get crack-a-lackin! Call a family meeting and begin discussions on your household’s expectations of what a pet’s role in your family will be. Then get ready for the time of your life! A pet will bring laughter and companionship to each and every member of your home.
Thank you for joining me! See you next month!
- Jeanna Billings
Jeanna Billings is an Animal Communicator serving an international clientele, a Reiki Master and a Certified Crystal Healer. She volunteered for many years with humane societies and animal rescues, serving as a Board Director, Adoption Counselor and Humane Educator. She currently teaches animal communication classes and provides private consultations. She lives in Indiana with her husband, three dachshunds, two cats and a very chatty parakeet. You can find her online at www.ShamansSpirit.net .