Don't fear the pet

Pets in the home always make a huge difference. Children just seem to grow up differently when there's a dog to run outside with, or for them to learn the responsibility of cleaning up after.

Many only children have admitted as adults that a pet was often their only play companion while growing up.

So what's stopping you?

A pet AND a baby?

Yes, having a pet and a baby at the same time can sometimes lead to fits of screaming and throwing of toys. And that's just from you! It's not all bad though. If you already had the pet before baby came along it may be easier. If the pet is completely comfortable with you and not a needy puppy, then it should be easier than you think!

You may need to do a little pet-baby-proofing. If you want to know more, check out Fido, meet Junior.

Okay, so what kind of pet?

This obviously comes down to which you prefer. Especially if your child is still a baby.

Step by Step offers some great advice (and there's even a chart!) on what type of pet may suit you. Depending on the child's age, where you live and what your finances are like - your pet choices may be very narrow. See this really helpful chart for more ideas.

Beware though: Your child could become a complete animal lover and then you may end up like Tracey Hawthorne and have an entire zoo on your hands!

Isn't it dangerous?

Unfortunately, there can be some dangers involved when you let pets into your home. Some dogs are unstable and could become vicious. It's always smart to have your pet checked out by a vet and if possible a pet trainer before integrating them into the family.

Before you know it though, those fluffy members of the family will have crawled their way into your heart and you soon won't be able to imagine them ever not being there.  Just like your own kids.

Do you have pets? What is your family like since they've joined?

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