How many of us have a very vivid picture in our mind of our children playing joyfully with the puppy they have been begging us for? I certainly do and I suspect most of you do as well. Kids and dogs are a natural fit, so it is important when you are selecting a dog to choose the best dog for your kids. Just as all kids are different, so are all puppies/dogs, and not any old puppy or dog is going to necessarily be the best choice for a child who desires a dog. Let’s take a deeper look at what we need to keep in mind before bringing home a dog for the kids.
One of the top things all parents must consider when selecting a dog for your kids is the age and maturity level of the children. For example, it would be unwise to bring home a large breed of dog and turn over responsibility for the dogs care to a child under ten or eleven years of age. They are not mentally or physically ready for a large dog at these ages.
Are your children going to accept the responsibility and time involved to exercise and feed the dog daily? They will promise you they are, but most kids slowly allow mom and dad to assume these tasks after the initial thrill wears off. This brings us to the question of your daily schedule, and if you have the time to see to a dog’s needs. Adding a dog or puppy to the family is in many ways like bringing home a new baby. He or she is going to need plenty of the family’s time, and this is especially true if we are dealing with a puppy.
Then you will have the additional expense of adding a dog to the family. For those who have not owned a dog before, or those who have not owned a dog in many years, the price for vet bills, quality dog food, and other essential doggy requirements may come as a rude shock. Can your budget afford the additional expense?
While all of the above may sound like I am discouraging parents from bringing a pup or adult dog home for the kids, I am not. I just want to point out owning a dog involves more than an occasional ear scratch and a bag of dog food.
I am a strong believer in the dog and child bond. The children learn to care about animals, along with becoming responsible for the dogs well-being. When selecting a dog for your kids choose wisely.
How did you decide on the best dog for your kids? Please tell your story to our readers in the space provided below.