Help Your Toddler Adapt to a New Pet

Take the fear out of finding a furry friend.

Plan ahead

Talk about the new pet ahead of time. Parents should never wait until the animal arrives to discuss it. Especially with young children, it is important to verbally prepare your child before a new pet joins the family.

Book time

Read a book together. Select a book about the type of pet your family will be getting. Read it together with your child and ask questions throughout the book to help your child feel more comfortable about this type of animal. Point at the pictures while you read and add additional comments, such as "See? The little boy is playing with his new kitty."

Big-screen benefit

Watch a movie featuring the type of pet your family is purchasing. There are many family-friendly movies starring traditional pets, such as dogs, cats and hamsters. Watching a film together will help your child see the animal and how it interacts with other children and family members. When you bring your new pet home, your child will feel more familiar with the animal and less afraid.

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