“Can I have a horse?” Most young girls have asked their parents this question with hopes held high. I’d love to surprise my little girl with a horse one day. One she can ride in our woods. A horse that she can train to jump, trot, canter and gallop. One that she can show in local competitions. Of course, every time I even slightly consider the idea, I am reminded by my husband who grew up with horses, of the continual cost of vet bills, feed, and upkeep.

Reality check!

Let’s face it. Animals demand time, energy and money. Is your child ready for this type of responsibility? Some are, some are not. Not too long ago we had some goats, two that we milked. Vacations were few and far between. Goat sitters, willing to milk your animals, are hard to find. We learned as a family during this that you have to plan your days and your weeks according to their milking schedule. Through this, we learned the sacrifice it takes to care for animals.

What about house pets? If you think your child is ready for a cat or dog, go for it! Both have the potential to provide wonderful companionship and comfort for a child. It’s almost as if they can help your child grow up while keeping them young at the same time! Not into cats or dogs but want to provide your child with a fun furry or feathery friend? Check out the pros and cons of these three entertaining creatures!

Rabbits

Rabbits

Pros:

  • They are quiet. No barking or meowing!
  • They are cute. Fun and entertaining to watch!
  • They have an expected lifespan of up to 15 years.
  • They can be litter trained, like a cat.

Cons:

  • You’ll want to spay or neuter them (if not breeding)
  • Strong urine odor
  • They need to be exercised daily
  • It is recommended to find them an exotic animals vet
Birds

Birds

Pros:

  • Demands little upkeep
  • Good company
  • Usually colorful and full of personality
  • More apt to be approved by a landlord than a dog or cat

Cons:

  • They throw seed
  • They will need plenty of toys to keep them entertained
  • You’ll need to clean the cage often
  • Can be sensitive to the cleaners used in your home
Fish

Fish

Pros:

  • Kids love to feed them
  • They are fun to watch
  • Their tanks are a great use for your child’s seashell collection
  • Overall low maintenance

Cons:

  • They can die quickly for a variety of reasons
  • You can’t “play” with them
  • You have to clean their tank often
  • Certain ones will eat others

We’ve had all three of these pets at one time or another, among others. All were fun and entertaining with their own little added quirks.

If you are seriously considering a pet for your homeschooled child, try doing a unit study about that animal first. It’s a practical way to prepare them for what’s in store!

 

What pets are your kids responsible for? Have you seen a positive change in their behavior since owning them? Share below!