The pros and cons of getting a family pet can be like working your way out of a maze. Here are some tips to help you.

Getting a family pet for the house is usually a quick discussion, which is regretted the very next day. When dad scoops up Rambo’s towering heaps of crap or vacuums the fish bowl, or mum digs a shallow grave for Sippy the hamster or flushes another floater down the loo, it becomes resoundingly clear that this is gonna be hard work. Your work.

As parents, we already have ample work and we just seem to pile more on top of it all. When the topic of a new pet came up, there was no discussion about the sharing of duties and responsibilities. Surely you didn’t sign up for the extra work.

Yet, there is Gizmo the cat, a walking flea-factory and grumpiness personified, licking itself in the morning sun, stretched out over your clean clothes and new bedding. Not to mention that stale smell coming from the Bearded Dragon cage in pangs. And who agreed to walk Fido every single afternoon? Not Grandma.

family pet dog walking

The discussion

Preceding the shopping phase, there will be a discussion phase where the whole family decides (or just the parents if it is a planned gift), whether or not a pet is to be gotten for the house. This discussion never lasts long enough.