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Do I get a pet for my daughter?

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Do I get a pet for my daughter?

So, pet’s can be amazing additions to a family but as a single dad, can I take on more responsibility? I am trying to solely raise my daughter and hold down a full time job, I seem to have all my time taken up by this, never mind looking after a pet to. To answer this, I thought I’d do some research… this in itself took some time finding!

I better give you all a bit of breakdown to explain my situation. My wife died not long after our daughter was born leaving me to raise our daughter by myself. She is now entering the terrible two’s (ok, she is good as gold, I keep expecting the terrible part to come) and we are now starting to have conversations as she learns how to talk.

Upon my research I stumbled into children with PTSD and pets being amazing to help them which got me thinking about if this would be a good idea for my daughter. Animals are good for children with PTSD because the child can intuitively recognise they can trust them. I won’t go into what else I learned about children with PTSD, perhaps that is a subject for other Dad’s to write for Dad’s To Be but like I said, this got me thinking about what the benefits are for children to have pets, some I am even thinking of myself.

  1. They can teach your child about controlling anger, you know what I mean, every child has a tantrum! I know my daughter has had a few. A pet can be a way for your child to verbally convey feelings and will not react like other child meaning your child can project and understand feelings better.
  2. A pet can give unconditional love, they offer an ear to talk to, offer support and comfort. They become a best friend.
  3. Giving increased confidence and responsibility by being able to care for his or her pets needs, sort of on the lines of the next point.
  4. By allowing your child to be able to read your pets needs (food, go outside etc), your pet can teach your child empathy.
  5. Helping with verbal skills… you know… we all talk to our pets! But this is good for a young child.
  6. Health and fitness… be it walking the dog or chasing the cat round the living room… got to be good right?

So, by this point, I am sold. There are LOADS of benefits to getting a pet for my daughter. But then I looked into WHAT pet to get… this gave some odd and unexpected results, I’ll write down my reactions just for laughs!

  • Rabbits. Ok, not an obvious answer for me but it was on my list but will need to live in the garden (I know not all do but I do not live in a big place).
  • Hamsters. This was on my list of possible pets but do I want to clean them out EVERY week?
  • Guinea Pigs. I’ve heard they look like mini hippo’s when shaved! So for this reason, I can not get one as I’d want to see if they really do!
  • Mice And Rats. I’m pretty sure they smell really bad, and do I want that smell in the house?
  • Gerbils. Small, fast and easy to escape for a 2 year old to hold… maybe not.
  • Chinchillas. What the hell is a Chinchilla? I had to look these up! It turns out they can bite and are very delicate… this I thought, should not be on the list!
  • Ferrets. I heard they can bite and really smell, this was not what I was expecting on a possible list!
  • Cat. An obvious choice, a perrrrrrfect choice? Ha!
  • Dog. Even more obvious than a cat and will require walking daily.

OK, choice has to be made, I think it would be good from my daughters point of view… but which pet? Let me know below!

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