10 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Pet for Your Family

Getting a pet for your family can be an exciting experience! It can be especially beneficial for your kids, as they can have the chance to learn responsibility and develop a strong bond with a furry friend. But before you decide to get a pet for your kids, there are a few important questions that need to be asked and answered to ensure that everyone is on board with getting a pet.

After all, getting a pet is a big commitment and is not something to be taken lightly. There are several factors to consider before deciding if getting a pet is right for your family. From pet type, cost, and lifestyle to preparing your home and making sure your children are ready, there is a lot to ponder. That’s why we have put together this list of ten essential questions to ask yourself before getting a pet.

The questions in this guide are designed to help you better understand your child’s level of responsibility and the impact the pet will have on your home. By taking the time to ask yourself these important questions, you can discern if everyone in the family is ready to make the plunge into pet ownership. Let’s dive into the topic of getting a pet!

Think About the Pros and Cons of Getting a Pet


Having a pet can be a fun and rewarding experience for people of all ages, but especially for children. Owning a pet teaches responsibility, compassion, and respect for life – all valuable lessons that can help children develop into successful and caring adults. There are numerous benefits of owning a pet, including building self-confidence, providing companionship, and offering unconditional love. Of course, pets also require a lot of work. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of getting a pet.

Apart from being a fun and furry friend, pets can also provide numerous emotional and physical benefits. Studies have shown that getting a pet can help reduce stress and anxiety, and can even help combat depression, as animals can provide tremendous comfort and companionship to their owners. Having a pet also encourages children to go outdoors and explore as they take their pet for a walk or play fetch. Larger animals that require extensive care can also foster increased physical activity for kiddos. These activities can help children learn about their environment.

Furthermore, when children are responsible for taking care of a pet, they may gain a greater appreciation for the importance of care and cleanliness. They not only have to provide it with food and water, but also make sure their pet is safe and healthy. Taking care of a pet also teaches children how to problem-solve and be proactive. They may learn how to stay organized and set priorities as they care for their pet.

Getting a pet can also serve as a social bridge for children. They can make friends with kids who also have pets. Pets can also serve as friends themselves, giving children a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on when needed. This is a great way to foster a sense of empathy at a young age!


Now, let’s talk about the drawbacks of getting a pet. Remember that none of these cons are deal-breakers, as you can already see that the positives of pet ownership are numerous. Still, they should be carefully noted and discussed as a family.

Animals require food, water, and shelter. That can cost a lot of money and impact the family budget. They need exercise and attention, as animals without proper engagement can become depressed, sickly, or mischievous. They also require medical services from time to time, which is another big cost and time commitment.

Pets often make messes, from normal bowel movements to carpet and furniture damage. They also complicate travel plans, whether you take them with you or look to find someone to watch them while you are away. Furthermore, some communities have bans on certain types of animals, such as large livestock or aggressive animals, or charge additional fees for people to own animals.

These are just a handful of the things pet owners have to deal with on a daily basis. Now that you know the pros and cons of getting a pet, it’s time to ask yourself the hard questions.

READ MORE: Finding A Family Pet: Animals That Are A Great Fit And Ones To Avoid

Before Getting a Pet, Ask Yourself These Questions


You now know that pets can be amazing friends – even part of the family! But you also know that they require a lot of effort and can put a strain on your family’s resources. As you are making a decision about getting a pet, use this list to ask yourself tough questions about the realities of owning an animal and how that would affect your home.

  1. Do I (and your spouse, if applicable) want a pet?
  2. Do my kids want a pet?
  3. What type of pet do we want?
  4. What size of pet do we want?
  5. Can my kids follow a schedule to care for a pet?
  6. What tasks would my kids be able to help with?
  7. What supervision or assistance would I need to provide?
  8. Do I have the financial resources to care for a pet (vet costs, food costs, etc.)?
  9. Do I have the space for a pet (consider the size of your home and yard in comparison with the adult size of the pet you want to get)?
  10. Do I or my kids have allergies or phobias of animals?

There’s your list! Now that you’ve gone over these questions yourself and as a family, what is your decision? How do you and your kids feel? Are you pleased, upset, or a mixture of both? Process your feelings for a few days, and then revisit this list. Are your answers still the same? Do changes need to be made?

If you are choosing as a family to find the perfect pet, keep reading to make it a positive experience for everyone!

Prepare Your Home and Family for a Pet


If you are moving forward with getting a pet for your family, it’s important to make sure your home is properly prepared for your new arrival. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your pet (and your humans!) are set up for success!

  • Have a Clean Area: Clean your home thoroughly and vacuum regularly. Pets are curious and can find their way into tight spots, so make sure to dust and vacuum the corners of your home. Additionally, make sure to keep food, plants, and other items away from their reach.
  • Create a Safe Space: Give your pet an area where he or she can feel safe and secure. Place a comfortable pet bed in a quiet spot where your pet can relax. You can also add some toys and other items for your friend.
  • Train Your Pet: Training your pet can help them learn the boundaries of acceptable behavior in your home. Provide positive reinforcement when he or she does something right.
  • Monitor Your Pet: Make sure to keep an eye on your pet at all times to avoid dangerous incidences for the animals and your kids. If you must leave him or her alone for a period of time, consider getting a pet gate or crate to provide a safe and secure area for them.
  • Provide Exercise: Exercise is important for all animals no matter the size, so make sure to provide pets with plenty of opportunities to run and play. This will help keep them mentally and physically healthy, as well as help them burn off excess energy.
  • Feed Your Pet Properly: Proper nutrition is essential for all animals. Make sure to provide your pet with a nutritious diet that meets his or her individual needs. Ask your vet for advice on the best food and be sure to provide plenty of fresh water at all times.
  • Teach Your Kids: Make sure your kiddos are involved with the care of the family pet. Provide proper instruction and supervision. Teach them, especially the little ones, how to hold and groom the animal (if applicable) gently. Stress to them the importance of not harming another life.
  • Ask Questions: Ask your friends and family what tips they would give you for introducing a new pet into the home. They may have some important insights for you! Also, find a vet and ask him or her for advice.
  • Know the Laws: Make sure your community doesn’t have any laws against the type of animal you want to own. Make sure you also follow rules about hygiene, leashing, and shelters (specifically in extreme heat or extreme cold weather conditions).
  • Get Supplies: Top-of-the-line items are not necessary for pet ownership, but it is important to have the basics on hand. You’ll need bowls for water and food, but you might also need cages, leashes, or other tools. Visit your local pet store to stock up!

By following these tips, you can ensure that your home is properly prepared for your pet. Getting a pet can be a great addition to your family, but it’s important to take the time to make sure you and your kiddos are prepared for the responsibility.

READ MORE: Save Their Lives: Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pets

Make Sure Everyone is in Agreement


When it comes to getting a pet for your kids, everyone in the family should be on the same page. It’s important to make sure that everyone is in agreement and that all of the participants understand the responsibility that comes with owning a pet. To ensure that all of the family members are unified, make sure you are using this guide to lead your discussion.

One final note. If you are moving forward with getting a pet for your family, consider adoption! There are so many animals without loving homes; you and your family just might fall in love with one of them! To learn more about pet adoption and to find shelters near you, check out the website of the Humane Society of the United States.

Best of luck to you as you find your family’s furry friend!

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