Once you have undergone a divorce and spent meetings with both a divorce attorney and a child support attorney, you may be wondering what the next step is for you and your children. One of the best ways to move forward with a divorce and all that it entails is to get a pet and start your new life out with one that fits your family. There are so many benefits to getting a pet at any time, but the effects that a divorce can have on a family make it an exceptionally good time. Below are what you can expect for your children when you get a new pet following a divorce.
1. Reduce Loneliness
Probably one of the biggest benefits of getting a pet is to reduce loneliness in kids who are going through a divorce. One of the biggest fears that kids experience after their parent’s divorce is being lonely or having to spend more time without a parent. Once a divorce is final, adding a pet like Maine Coons cat or finding a local dog breeder is a great way to help give your child that support and build that relationship so that they have fewer feelings of being alone.
Pets are often associated with being some of the best friends that a kid can have and help mold their childhood into a more positive one. In some cases, kids going through a divorce may already be having issues with friends and social outings, so having a pet at home can keep them from digging far into that loneliness. Loneliness, unfortunately, has the ability to cause unwanted depression and other issues if it isn’t treated, so it is important to keep this from developing further.
2. Reduce Anxiety
One of the benefits of getting a pet is to reduce anxiety. Because this is a new situation, the divorce, you may find that your children are more anxious due to the unknown situation and what is about to come. With pets, your family therapist may suggest adding a pet to the home to offset this new fear that may be developing. Pets are loyal to their families and quickly attach to kids at Pre K, younger, and older.
Depending on your kids’ personality, you can choose between cats and dogs for your family. Not all breeds of cats and dogs have the same temperament, so you want to decide which pet will compliment your children and help build up their character during this transition.
3. Establish a Routine
Building a routine is one of the benefits of getting a pet. When you add a pet to your home, it will need to be cared for, which requires a routine for your kids. Because divorces cause so much unknown in many cases, establishing a routine is a great way to help your kids and family cope with this new dynamic. This is something that many local divorce lawyers see happen on a regular basis so that the family can get back to a new normal and build upon the change.
One of the best things you can do for any family after a divorce is to establish a new routine. The faster a new routine is established, the faster your daily life will look more structured, and you can get your kids back to a place that looks normal. Being in a situation where it looks normal and they are accepting of the circumstances is important so that your entire family can heal from the divorce and move forward.
4. Gain Protection
While many dog breeders have loyal pets, they can also serve as a source of protection, which is one of the benefits of getting a pet. With the family dynamic shifting after a divorce, it is possible that your kids may not feel as protected as they once did with one of the parents out of the home. Because of this, adding a pet to your home can instill protection for your kids and give them a sense of security.
When you have pets, you may need a fence installation, which allows your pet and your kids to understand the boundaries of your property. Having that pet there to defend them in the face of danger and having those boundaries physically outlined lets them identify safe areas and helps them move forward in a divorce.
5. Encourage Responsibility
Being able to grow up in an environment with divorced parents and continue growing as a responsible person is one of the benefits of getting a pet. Pets require you to keep them fed and taken out when necessary and be responsible in knowing what to feed them and how to play with them. Being able to be responsible for a pet means that there is some growth and potential for responsibility in future relationships and other aspects of the child’s life that they may be experiencing.
Should a pet fall ill or need assistance from local emergency veterinarians, the responsibility factor taught to the children and the parent in the home will be to take advantage of services right away, like veterinary ultrasound machines, to help identify issues and make responsible decisions for their healthcare.
6. Embrace Loyalty
One of the most enduring features regarding pets is their ability to remain loyal to their families and provide unconditional loyalty. Building and restoring that loyalty in children suffering from divorced parents is one of the many benefits of getting a pet. When kids see a divorce happening, they may start to question loyalty because it seems that the trust between their parents has been broken. With pets, they can learn that there is a such thing as unconditional love, especially with many different dog breeds.
If your family is more cat-focused, you may want to consider some of the other breeds for loyalty and affection, as all cats are not as affectionate as others. Depending on what type of attention your child is looking for, they may be fine with pets who just exist in their space, or want a pet that will be very affectionate most of the time.
7. Promote Physical Activity
If you are noticing that your kids don’t have the attention span to exercise or want to interact, then it is time to get a pet. One of the benefits of getting a pet is to have a friend to go outside with and enjoy their company. Because most pets are energetic, they need to have physical activity for their own health. This demand for making sure that they are healthy will also work with making sure your kids are healthy and working to be physically active.
Dogs are great for walks, and you can now take cats for walks if you want a pet to get your kids outside. Dogs have parks where they can run, and you can see your kids get out in the sunshine, throwing balls, frisbees, and anything else to keep them and your pet busy. If your kids are physically healthy, then this will encourage their mental health to be healthy, as well.
8. Encourage New Friendships
One of the biggest benefits of getting a pet is the way that it helps your kids move forward with making new friendships later on in life. Once they have a pet and they have established that loyalty bond with them, they will be more likely to reach out to others and build new friendships. Because divorce makes this hard to do anyway, the love of a pet can give them the confidence they need to reach out to others and start building that relationship.
They can even use their pets to meet others, by playing in parks with other kids who have pets, or bonding with them by talking about their pets. When you are out in public with your pet, others may approach you and feel more confident in interacting with you and your kids.
9. Reduce Stress
Whether it is a divorce, or any other situation, major benefits of getting a pet include stress relief and stress management. Any time your child gets put in a situation where they may not be comfortable or they can feel the stress building up, they can easily reach out and pet their cat or dog. By reducing the stress, you are helping your kids keep their blood pressure low and keep them from having potential anxiety attacks.
One of the biggest concerns that divorced parents have with their children is the ability to calm them down, and a pet has a way of getting into their space gently and giving them the comfort they need to slow down, remain calm, and get their body back to a stable setting.
Of all the benefits of getting a pet, the most important is the happiness that a pet can bring to your home. Divorce, no matter the circumstances, is not an easy process, and it is something that many kids find to be sad and hard to endure. The pure joy and happiness that come from a pet alone is enough to take the leap and see the smiling faces of your kids.
It is also a point of happiness for the parent, who can accept a token of fulfillment, knowing they are providing a safe and loving home for a pet while also making their kids very happy. Happiness comes in at all different angles and makes it one of the most positive ways to start life following a divorce.
Choosing the Right Pet
Before you move forward with getting a pet, it is important that you keep a few things in mind about choosing a pet. First, you need to do some research on the best breeds for your family and your kid’s personalities. If you have children that are naturally energetic, you need a breed of dog or cat that can keep up and can match that level of energy in your home. If you have a lot of kids, you need to also make sure that the breed is comfortable with various kids and any other pets you may have.
Consider if your kids have any current allergies. Some kids are allergic to pet dander and may need only certain breeds of pets around to help minimize their allergy reaction. Breeds like poodles are hypoallergenic dogs with a great temperament for families. Just because an allergy exists doesn’t mean that they cannot have a pet.
Some breeds are meant for protection and can remain loyal. If your child will be home a lot and needs a protector after the divorce, breeds like the German Shepherd may be more appropriate for your family. They are active and loyal but can be trained to interact and protect your family against intruders.
Vet costs are also important, and some breeds require more visits than others. Now that your family has lost an income, you want to make sure that you can afford the breed you are looking to bring into your home, as it is vital that you keep up with their health to keep your kids healthy and active.
It is a great idea to visit one of your local shelters in your community and see what types of dogs and cats are available to adopt. In most cases, you can take your family to these shelters and let them interact with the pets. This will give you an idea of which pets they bond with and help you make a decision that is affordable and great for everyone, including the pet when you bring them home. If you do not have a local shelter that you can work with, reach out to some of your local dog breeders in the area.