Aside from a deep-running love for animals, a pet which is introduced into the family can play a big role in the positive development of every single member of the family. I think I’d be correct in assuming that a puppy is the first thing that popped into the minds of most of my readers with the mention of a family pet, which is indeed consistent with what I personally had in mind.
Whatever floats your boat though – it can be a couple of goldfish, an exotic pet or anything really, but naturally something like a dog would perhaps make for the best in family pets because of the practicality of the dynamics surrounding its care. Sure, exotic pets are fun to have as well, but is it realistic and practical to introduce a pet rock python into the family, for example?
The same can be asked of something like a cat – cat’s a great, we all know that, but in terms of bringing more unity to the family structure a cat may not be the best choice because of its known natural propensity to tend to pick out one member in every family and make that person its “human”. That could be a cause for some heartbreak in the case of a cat meant for Tim harbouring a preference for Tim’s older sister…
So a puppy it is then if it is indeed a family oriented pet you want to introduce into the domestic fold. Dogs will reciprocate your love if you take the time to demonstrate it to them through simple actions, such as feeding it, stroking it, playing with it and just acknowledging its presence every now and then, like when you come back from work, school, etc.
It’s not absolutely necessary to do so, but if it’s practical then every member of the family should be present for the welcoming home of the new furry member of the family. Choose a name that everybody is happy with as early as possible and immediately start taking it in turns to shower the pet with the much-needed affection. Be stern at times when the need arises as this establishes some kind of hierarchy which breeds respect and obedience.
Everything which is done to contribute towards to the looking after of the family pet should be alternated, so something like feeding shouldn’t only be limited to one member of the family, so too all the other tasks like grooming, taking him for a walk, etc. It might make for a bit of a challenge in the beginning, mostly because everybody is probably eager to contribute what they can, but if you have to draw up a timetable then so be it.
Over time it will become second nature to all of you, taking care of the family pet. For example, with our family dogs they never go a day without eating because sometime during the day, someone will inevitably ask everybody else if the dogs have been fed yet today.