For young families, the decision to get a pet is a big one. They are time consuming and cost a lot of money — but they are also sweet creatures that enrich your lives. So how do you know when to introduce a pet to your family? General Hospital‘s Rebecca Herbst and her family recently welcomed a pet, and with a 5-year-old and 7 ½-year-old, she compares it to having another child!

The responsibilities that come along with any animal — from a hamster to a puppy — are huge, and you want to be sure your children are committed to taking care of their furry friend — cleaning litter boxes and all! On the other hand, some families find it easier to welcome a pet before having children, to “practice” for parenthood and eventually help acclimate the pet to the child, instead of the other way around.

So here’s your chance to Sound Off! Tell us: When do you feel is the right time to get a family pet?