Are Your Kids Ready for a Dog?

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For years, your kids have been cajoling you to get a dog. They see their friends have one, and they watch a ton of videos about pets, too. They promise they are going to be responsible for the dog, but are they really ready for one? Getting a pet isn’t like buying a stuffed toy from the store. Once the kids are done with their toys, they can discard them in a box or give them away or sell them in a garage sale. Dogs are not toys. That should be clear to your kids. If they want one now, they should want one years down the line.

If you are thinking about getting a dog, you should also consider paying a puppy trainer. While you can teach the dog some basic tricks, there’s nothing like a professional trainer to make sure the dog stays patient with kids. But this is just the beginning of the long line of considerations you should make before adopting a dog.

Your Kids Are Comfortable Around Animals

Some people think that adopting a dog is a cure for fear of animals. If your kids are not comfortable around animals, getting a dog will not change that. Some even believe that kids are more likely to make mistakes around a pet when they are forced to be in the same house. They might pull their fur or touch their food while the dog eats.

Instead of forcing your kids to “like” animals, why don’t you visit the shelter first? See how they react to animals. Make sure they are comfortable around them before adopting one.

They Are Responsible Around the House

How do your kids feel about doing the dishes or wiping the dinner table? They have to be responsible around the house. Once you see that they can take on tasks, then that’s a signal that they may be ready to take care of a pet, too. Adopting a dog is a big responsibility. Your kids have to feed them, take them out for a walk, and bathe them. You are busy enough with work and household tasks so if you’re getting a dog, it will be your kids’ responsibility.

Your kids should also be responsible with themselves. Check if they already brushed their teeth or washed before bed. If they can keep with their daily tasks by themselves, then they could also be ready to take care of another life.

Man playing with dog outdoors

You Are Financially Ready

Getting a dog isn’t just about buying the dog food and the dog shampoo. It’s more than that. You might have to get pet insurance. You will also need to spend on veterinary services, as well as grooming. If your dog needs special care, that’s another expense, too. Sit down with your kids and explain to them about the financial aspect of having a dog. If they are, for example, willing to let go of their memberships to the indoor kiddie playground, then take that as a sign of their maturity.

Your Kids Have Excess Energy

Are your kids always running around the house? If they have boundless energy, a pet can help. They will need to play with the dog and walk the dog outside. The presence of a dog in the house will help spend that excess energy. Getting a dog will also help overweight and obese children. They can walk the dog outside after dinner and play with them in the yard.

The Family Had a Successful Run at Pet Ownership

Offer to take care of a friend’s dog for the weekend. Make sure to “borrow” a dog who your kids are familiar with, too. The dog should also be familiar with your kids, so they can be comfortable and playful. Don’t take on older dogs because they can get anxious about spending time away from their original family. When you see your kids taking care of the dog, then you can also think about getting one for the family. However, this trial should not be a one-time thing. Try to schedule it repeatedly throughout a month, so you can get a feel of how your kids treat these pets.

There are many benefits to having pets at home. Your kids will learn to be responsible. They will also be more compassionate and emphatic. However, pet ownership is a lot of responsibilities. You have to make sure that your kids are ready for the responsibility of taking care of them. As for yourself, check your finances if you can spare a few hundred dollars each month for the dog.

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