How To Be A Better Dad: Pets 

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How To Be A Better Dad: Pets 


How To Be a Better Dad is the fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our members who are in all stages of fatherhood Our topic today is about adding pets to the family! 


Dear SingleDad, 

My 6 year old daughter wants a pet to join our family. I think it’s important, but she goes from saying a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a horse, to a pig, any animal she can think of. I’m not sure what pet would be the best fit and is the right one for a 6 year old. 

-Taylor, 33


I love that you wrote “…a pet to join our family”. Pets are a part of our family and I don’t think everyone looks at it in that way. I agree that it is important for a child to grow up with animals. Having a pet teaches us empathy, compassion, body language, and responsibility. 


  • Best Fit 

Now I don’t think it’s ever fair for us to choose our animals. The “best fit” would be when the animal chooses us; it’s a different connection. However, I understand finding the “best fit” also includes what we are able to commit to in our scheduled lives. Your daughter is 6 years old so she won’t be able to do everything on her own or fully understand what responsibility comes with having a pet. Is there time to take care of a horse, a pig, a goat, etc? We also need to make time for any animals we have, but “farm animals” such as horses are very time consuming who need different care. Being aware of the type of commitment you all are ready to take on will narrow down the options. 

  • Responsibility 

Like I said, having a pet join our family means we are responsible for their well being and companionship. Having a conversation with your daughter to help her understand this responsibility is huge. It’s not fair or right to get an animal if it will be neglected in any way or given up later on due to being overwhelmed with the responsibility. 


  • Volunteer 

Before making a decision and bringing a pet into your home, take your daughter to the local shelter and volunteer! This teaches responsibility, compassion, hard work, and dedication. Volunteering can give an idea of what is expected and learning how to care for the animals. 


I hope these tips help and good luck on your search for your next family member! Animals bring such light and love to our chaotic, human world. 

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