Being a teenager can be a very difficult time, both for the teenager and for their family. This is one reason why teenagers are often eager to have a pet, but it is also a reason why parents may feel that their teen is not responsible enough to have one. It is worth considering all the facts before you make a decision, however, as research shows pets can be very beneficial to teenagers, and the whole family.
A pet provides company during times that can be very isolated and lonely for teens. Many teenagers bottle up their feelings about hormonal changes, first relationships and family dynamics – having a companion to talk to that will just listen and always be there can be a great comfort. A pet could also be your teenagers’ first real responsibility. All pets require care and attention, on a regular basis, which means your child will have to be organized, prepared and attentive. Walking a dog provides exercise, and if the teenager is paying towards the animals’ upkeep, they will learn budgeting too.
A family pet has benefits for the whole family, as well. Dogs are always ready to play, and dressing them up in dog costumes can provide hours of family fun, and some adorable photographs! Consider which types of pet you’d be happy to invite into the family, and have a family meeting to discuss whether getting a pet is viable, considering financial aspects and also whether the pet will have plenty of company. Let your teen research breeds, requirements and costs, and consider their proposal. After all, the benefits are huge, if you can offer a pet a lifelong home.