Friday, January 29, 2021

Is Your Child Ready To Take Care Of A Dog?

Have your children started asking you to get them a dog? A puppy is a big responsibility at any age, and it can be hard to know if your children are ready to take care of a dog. If you add a canine companion to the family at the right time, learning to look after a dog can improve a child’s sense of responsibility and caring, and improve their health. Buy a dog before they’re ready, and you’ll soon be stuck doing all the puppy care yourself, with children who have lost interest in the poor thing.

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If you’re going to buy a dog for your family, you need to be confident that you’re all ready for one, and that your children can be responsible enough to take care of the dogs’ needs and that they can interact with it safely. There are some good signs to look out for to help you decide whether the time is right for a furry friend. 

They’ve Put In The Research

Dog ownership isn’t always easy. There’s a lot to learn, and even adults can find raising a puppy very difficult, tiring work. Unfortunately, it’s not all cure puppy cuddles. You need to know that your children are aware of the responsibilities that are involved with owning a dog and aren’t just thinking about how cute puppies are and how fun they are to play with. If they’ve spent some time doing research about dogs, such as finding out what all the things are that the dog will need, this is a good sign that they’re thinking seriously about dog ownership. Have they done a bit of research about different breeds and thought about which might suit your family the best? Do they know where there are local breeders or rescues that you could get the dog from? Have they looked into the best food, beds, toys, and dog bowls? Have they spent time here learning about proper puppy training? You should do all this research yourself too, but taking an interest in it is a good sign that your children know that puppies need a lot of care. 

They Know How To Behave Around Dogs

Do you have friends and family who have dogs already? Take the children round to visit and see how they behave around the dog. Do they know how to safely introduce themselves by offering up their hand to sniff or do they just grab at the dog immediately? Do they leave the dog alone and wait for it to approach them or are they annoying the dog, trying to make it play? 

If you’re going to have a dog in the house, then your children will need to know how to interact with it safely and in a way that is enjoyable for them and the dog. Dogs are animals and can be unpredictable, and even the friendliest, best-trained pooch can react aggressively if it feels threatened, cornered, or hassled by your children or if the kids are not behaving in a safe way around the dog. Make sure they know how to behave with a dog before you bring one home. Assuming your new pet would never snap is a big mistake

Are They Responsible?

Depending on the age of your children, they could have different responsibilities to help to care for the puppy, such as feeding, walking and cleaning up after it. You don’t want to get stuck having to do it all by yourself when the kids are bored after a week and have realized that having a puppy isn’t just playing, cuddling, and petting. 

Do your children have chores they are responsible for at home already? If they’re good at getting through their chores without complaining or being nagged and are helpful around the house off their own back, this is a great sign that they will be responsible enough to take over at least part of caring for the dog. Depending on the age of the child, there will be something they can do to help look after the dog, whether it’s filling up their water bowl or taking them out for a walk after school. 

Remember that a dog is a family pet, and no child can completely care for one alone. The whole family needs to be responsible enough to make sure the dog is getting everything it needs and is being properly cared for. 

Are You Willing To Help?

No matter how responsible your children are or how much research they’ve done into the best puppy care, they will need some level of help caring for the dog. Don’t get a pet for a child if you’re not willing to be in charge of its care. Depending on how old your children are, you might need to accompany them on walks, walk the dog in the morning while the kids get ready for school, train the dog, or check the dog has been fed, walked, or groomed. 

Studies should still come first, meaning that if you’ve bought a dog for your older children, you might need to take over walks and other care during exam season. If nothing else, you’ll need to be prepared to cover any vet’s bills and expenses like food, training classes, and toys. 

Before deciding to buy a family dog, do your own research into the care they need, and the sort of dog that would best fit in with your family life. Make sure that you are prepared for the expense and responsibility of owning a dog, as well as the children. They might understand how much care a dog needs, but are you ready and willing to take that on?

Don’t forget to consider the future too. Dogs live quite a long time. If you buy a dog for the children, what will happen when they grow up and go off to college or move out? Are you willing to be left with the dog as the kids fly the nest? 


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