10 Reasons Kids Don’t Need Pets

Many times children feel like they need to have a pet, but in reality they want one, not need one.  Kids have trouble distinguishing between wants and needs, in fact many adults have trouble with that too.  Before you get a pet for your child, consider 10 reasons why getting one may not be a great idea.

  1. Not ready to care for one:  Many parents feel like having a pet will help teach their kids to be more responsible and to think of someone besides themselves.  It’s all about me when you are a child and kids have great intentions when they ask for a pet, but most often those intentions don’t pan out.
  2. Could cause allergic reactions: A large number of folks are allergic to pet dander.  Is there a way around it?  Yep.  It just depends on what extreme measures you want to take.  You can put in a fancy and expensive air filtration system in your home.  You can get one of those hideous hairless cats.  You could also buy and take medications for your allergy symptoms.
  3. Animals could create an unhealthy environment: Granted this doesn’t happen to every household, but there have been many cases where people took in strays and then for whatever reason weren’t able to take care of the pets properly.  The feces of the animals ended up getting everywhere and causing an unsafe environment for children.
  4. Kids are too busy to spend time with them: Kids think they want or need a pet so that they can play with them, but then the kids are never home.  They come home after school to grab a snack and then to take off to play at a friend’s house.  Then they come home in time to eat supper and run out the door to some sort of activity.  By the time they get home they work on homework and go to bed.  Is it really necessary to have a pet when the only time your child can play with it is on the weekends and during the summer?
  5. Has the extra money:  Let’s face it, pets are expensive.  If you want a pure breed you are going to have to shell out big bucks, but even if you have a pet given to you there are expenses that will come along with it.  Dogs and cats need to go to the vet to get their annual shots.  Then they need heart worm and flea preventative medications.  What if you just want a gerbil or a fish?  The bedding has to be changed and the pet needs to eat something.  Then there are toys and other things that just add up.
  6. The parent gets stuck with the work: Someone has to feed it, water it, take it for a walk if it’s a dog or clean out it’s cage if it’s a smaller pet.  Kids say they will do these things, but it rarely happens.
  7. Hassle when you leave town: Who’s going to take care of this pet when you want to go on vacation?  Are you stuck staying at home now because you have a pet?  Dogs need to be boarded or you need someone to come over and take them out and feed and water them daily.  Small pets, like gerbils, can go several days with a bowl full of food and a water bottle, but even they need attention after about 4 days.
  8. Imposing on friends: So if you don’t want to pay someone to take care of your pet then you are imposing on your friends or relatives.  Is this their pet?  Why do they need to take care of your pet?  Your kids’ friends are too young and would you trust them to come over and go into your house and take care of the pet while you are gone?
  9. Liability issues: What if the pet bites someone?  That person could sue you for a lot of money.  Is that kind of thing covered under your homeowner’s policy?  You might want to find out the answer to that question before you think about getting a pet.
  10. More time on homework: What child couldn’t use more time on their homework.  If you had a pet your child would just be distracted and want to spend time with the pet and then their schooling could suffer.

While no one really needs a pet, they do bring great joy to those who have one. Be sure before getting a family pet you really examine the pros and cons and be sure you are making the right choice for your family.