“Moooom? Daaad? Anyone? Can I get a pet? I promise I’ll take care of it!”
Even if your girl hasn’t started pleading for a puppy, a kitten, or even a mouse, chances are, she will soon. The truth is that while pets are fun and exciting, they’re also a huge, often years-long commitment. Just like any other member of your household, they’ll need care and love, plus healthy food to eat, exercise, and regular doctor’s visits. Unlike other members of your household (one hopes!) they also need to be cleaned up after in a more, well, shall we say hands-on way. If your family isn’t able to provide any one of those things, you should probably think twice about getting a pet. That said? If you’ve got the time and resources to add a furry (or scaly or winged!) friend to your crew, know that helping to raise a pet can have major benefits for your daughter as long as she’s mature enough to handle it. (One good indicator is whether or not she can pour herself a bowl of cereal. If she can, she can also feed the dog!) Learn about all the ways getting a pet can help your daughter be her best—and then think about heading to the local shelter. Your daughter’s new BFF is waiting!