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The arrival of a new animal can be an extremely exciting thing, especially for young children. Most kids love pets, especially adorable little kittens and puppies. They are soft, cuddly and filled with lots of energy, just like them. However, if you are planning on making a trip to the local pound or if you have already picked out your new furry friend and are waiting to pick him up, then there are a few house rules you should discuss with your family before the new arrival is due home.

Setting up a Schedule

If you have more than one child or roomates with small kids, then there is bound to be some fighting at the beginning. After all, a kitten or puppy is one of the best toys out there. All your children will most likely want to help out with the duties. They will want to hold the new pet, brush his fur, make his dinner, hold his leash and give him a bath. Don’t worry – this will eventually settle down. However, you don’t want to overwhelm the new arrival which is why it is important to set up a schedule and routine before he comes home.

Make a list of all the different chores that need to be done and then sit down with a family and discuss who will be responsible for doing what. Perhaps your youngest could have the duty of brushing his fur before bed every night. Perhaps your oldest will be allowed to feed him his dinner. Perhaps your spouse will be in charge of poop-duty and perhaps all of you will take turns holding the leash when it comes time for the family walk. Setting up a pet routine will also help teach your children the importance of sharing as well as responsibility.

Bringing your Pet Home

Let your children help out with picking out the items your new furry friend will need such as a bed, food, a leash, a collar and some toys. Make a trip to the pet store together and give your children a list of the things they are allowed to choose. Of course, if they go for the most expensive dog crate or litter box in the shop, you may need to steer them to a more affordable option.

When your animal is coming home it is important not to overwhelm him which can be hard if you have exciting children at home waiting for him. Let your pet sniff around and get comfortable in his surroundings. Show him his area in the house where you have his bed, his food and water, his toys and anything else he needs. Give each of your kids a chance to ‘meet’ their new animal by giving them alone time with the pet. If your child is quite young, it is important to supervise their time together as puppies and kittens tend to bite and scratch as part of their play.

Naming your pet can be the hardest part of all when it comes to preparing your family for the arrival of a new animal. Everyone in the household will most likely have a different suggestion, from “Superman” to “Princess Jasmine” to “Duke” and “Patches.” So what will you name your pet? There are several ways to decide – one way is to pick out of a hat. Another way is to let your animal decide. Give it time for his personality to shine through and see what name he responds to and what name suits him the best. You may be surprised.

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