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Many families have a pet, in fact over half of UK households own one! If you haven’t got one and are thinking of getting one it is amazing but it also isn't something to take on lightly. Remember that classic phrase "A dog is for life not just for Christmas"?

A pet can transform your life, everyone remembers their childhood pet! But, they are also a big responsibility. Will it need walking? Who will look after it when you go on holiday? Who will clean up after it?

Looking to get a pet?

A couple of things to think about first.

How much free time do you have to care for them?

Pets require a lot of attention and care. Small animals like rabbits and hamsters require their cage cleaning regularly as well as daily handling and water/food topping up. Cats may be more self sufficient but they still need attention. Who will walk the dog regularly?

Have you thought about the cost?

Everything adds up and there is a lot to consider. Food, cages, beds, leads, vet bills, annual vaccinations, dog walkers, grooming, holiday care, the list goes on.

A pet can provide so many benefits to a family.

  • Exercise - daily dog walking and running around the garden playing

  • Responsibility - teaching children to care for others

  • Life - teaching understanding of the life cycle

  • Comfort - who doesn't love snuggling up with the cat on a cold, rainy day

What about if you have a Nanny?

Thinking about getting a pet and have a Nanny. Whilst it is the families choice to get a pet it would be a good idea to run it by the Nanny. They may be allergic to certain animals or just not like them.......

If you are working long days at the office and decide to get a puppy, who is going to train it during the week, walk it, feed it and clean up the mess? The Nanny needs to be onboard, I spent a few weeks with a tiny kitten constantly crawling up my legs and sitting on my head every time I tried to make a meal. And, we all know they have a lovely habit of bringing in presents. I recall coming home from school pick up to a cat who was very pleased with himself. I soon discovered why when he bought a baby bird to me whilst I was trying to cook dinner! One bird under a saucepan in the kitchen, pasta boiling away and a cat thrown out the back door. I swiftly got the children to find a shoe box, popped the bird in there and sent Mum a message asking her to make a plan for when she got home.

Hiring a Nanny and have pets or are thinking of getting one?

If using a Nanny Agency let them know. Also, make it clear at interview stage that this is a job requirement. A Nanny is mainly responsible for the children so if you need or will need some support with pet care. Even if it is only ensuring the children clean the hamster cage out weekly or feed the goldfish when they get home from school. Some Nannies will be more than happy to walk the dog for you or pop in and feed the cat if you are away for the weekend.

Don't just spring pets on them on their first day!!

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