Is your family ready for a pet?

(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Many of us would love a furry friend at home but deciding whether to add a pet to your family is a big decision.

“Busy parents are often reluctant to introduce a pet into their home as they don’t want to add any more chores or responsibilities to their lives,” explains Rose Ferrante of Pet Valu. “However, the added work and costs are often far outweighed by the benefits they bring the entire family.”

Although children often beg parents for a dog, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, fish, reptiles and cats can all be appropriate. “Carefully consider your family’s individual needs and circumstances before determining what type of pet to get and the right time to introduce it,” recommends Ferrante.

If you’re thinking about adding a pet to your family, consider these tips from pet experts:

1. In an increasingly digital world where socializing is often done online, pets provide real-life companionship and help make social connections.

2. Pets teach important lessons about forgiveness. If you don’t spend enough time with your pet one day, they won’t hold it against you and the next day they’ll have completely forgiven you.

3. Whenever you have a difficult day, even if the problems were caused by you, your pet will still be excited to see you when you return home and will remain at your side.

4. Research shows that pets reduce stress and anxiety. In a hectic family household, pets can help provide calm, loving balance.

5. Pets, particularly dogs, get you to move more. It’s easy to say no to exercise after a busy day at work and school, but if the dog needs its walk, someone in the family will have to lace up their shoes.

6. Although children favor kittens and puppies, adopting an older pet is less work. If you visit a pet retailer during one of their adoption weekends, you’ll find a wide variety of pets and will be able to select one with the right temperament for your family.

7. If now is not the right time for a pet, encourage your child to make a small donation to a local animal rescue or shelter to help a pet in need.

Find more information online at petvalu.com.
— News Canada

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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