Find a Family Pet That Fits – Tip #413
Having a pet can be a tremendous source of comfort and joy but it can also feel like an incredible burden or another thing to stress and worry about. A family pet can be the most consistent and reliable member of your family (no offense) – it can provide stability in the up and down world of military life. Studies have conclusively shown that having a family pet can reduce stress, emotional trauma and anxiety. A pet can be especially beneficial when you are being posted, preparing for a deployment, going through a deployment, experiencing a re-integration/reunion, etc. and provide the comfort that no one and nothing else quite can. With a pet can also come a tremendous amount of responsibility and additional work depending on the pet you choose. Here are some things to consider…
Prior To Having A Pet:
* Take a good look at your schedules and routines and see how a pet would fit into your world
* Think about your long term possibilities – upcoming moves, tours, trainings, etc. and ensure that your pet will fit into this
* Consider who would be able to care for your pet in the event you go on holiday, away visiting family, are late at work, deployed, etc.
* Cost out how much your pet would add to your monthly bills – food, supplies, toys, etc.
* Assign responsibilities to each family member prior to getting a pet and have them agreed upon
* Take a pet for a weekend/ trial basis – some pet stores or shelters have a plan where you can babysit a pet to see if it fits with your family
* Make an agreement on a budget for medical costs and other unexpected expenses
* Look at different pets and what each one has as an average time committment
* Consult with everyone in your family – including ones that may be absent
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Filed under: Military Family Support - Tips from the 101 Tips books, Re-integration Tips | Tagged: comfort and joy, family pet, having a pet, life, military family, military life, pets, support, time committment |