Getting a dog is one way to make your child happy. Research confirms that growing up with puppies can improve the physical and psychological health of kids. Parents will manage to do two useful things at once when they get a child a dog.
Getting a puppy seems like an easy task. Parents want to get a child a dog that will be a wonderful companion. Yet, raising a child while being a dog owner is not as easy as it seems.
Those risks should not scare parents. Grownups should consider them before they get a child a dog.
Are the parents ready to have a dog?
We can agree puppies are irresistible. However, taking care of them is also time-consuming. Because of that, parents should consider the lifestyle of all family members.
Let’s imagine that both parents work every day. That means they may not have a lot of time to take care of the puppy. Puppies will need to go for walks at least three times a day.
The same consideration matters when we talk about feeding the dog. And keeping the house clean should also be on the list.
After a hard day at work, are you willing to take on more responsibilities at home?
As previously mentioned, all these duties should not scare future dog owners. The crucial thing is to organize your time and share the responsibility of caring for and training the puppy.
The best dog breed for children
Every dog breed looks cute and interesting in some unique way. However, when you decide to get a child a dog, focus on family-friendly dog breeds known for getting along with children. Breeds that are known as kind and gentle should be the main priority.
Golden retrievers are a good example. They have been trained for years to be peaceful, kind, and playful. On the other hand, getting a dog with more aggressive genetics may be a mistake.
But the dog’s breed isn’t the only consideration when you get a child a dog.
Understanding the importance of training
It doesn’t matter which breed parents choose if they fail to take the time to train the dog properly. Dog owners especially need to work on the socialization of their puppies.
Most parents choose to adopt a puppy. Keep in mind doing so can be more time-consuming than adopting an older dog. But older dogs also need training.
Parents also need to realize training is a lifelong process. Dogs do best with a set schedule and a sense of order. Dog training can bring many benefits such as management and control, better bonding, and improved safety for the dog and all family members.
Educate the child
Dogs will never show aggression or strange behavior without reason. Most puppies will show warning signs like growling if they feel threatened. Children need to learn to respect the puppy’s need to eat and sleep without interruption.
Especially in the beginning, parents need to supervise all interactions between the child and the dog. Parents should explain to kids that dogs have boundaries that the child needs to respect. It’s also important to teach children to read and understand the dog’s body language.
The family also will need to set rules for the puppy and enforce them uniformly to avoid confusion. For example, no family member should feed the puppy from the table. And if the dog is not allowed on the furniture, no family member should allow the dog there.
Budget and living conditions
Many dog owners fail to plan for the costs of having a dog. The bottom line is that pets are expensive and require food and shelter and exercise, training, and regular vet visits.
Creating a budget is critical. Before you get a child a dog, make sure it’s a lifestyle change you can afford.
Consider these five things before you get a child a dog. Make sure the entire family is ready for the commitment.
Dogs are wonderful companions, but they also are time-consuming and expensive.
Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at GetGoodGrade, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. She enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.