Guest Post: So your kid wants a dog? Here is what you need to know

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Children with pets not only grow up to have amazing memories with their pets, but also learn many important lessons in life. If your kid wants to get a dog, there are some sacrifices to be made and some important questions to be asked. Here is what you need to know before getting a dog.

Is your kid ready?

Ask yourself whether your child is comfortable around different animals. Don’t use your future pet as a therapy for the fear of animals. If your kid is afraid of dogs, they will likely make more mistakes around dogs and potentially put themselves and animals in danger. Also, your child should know how to respect animals and how to behave around them. They need to be able to understand they shouldn’t hit or disturb the animal. If your kid still can’t understand that, you should wait.

Benefits to your kid’s life

If your kid is old enough to take care of a dog, it’s good to know how many benefits your child will get from that relationship. They will always have a friend in their dog, and someone to confide in and talk to. They will lead a more active life, with more exercise and activities. According to many studies, your kid will have a better immune system and fewer allergies, and thanks to being more physically active, they will have better blood pressure and be more fit. Having a pet can be a great responsibility because your child will get to experience what it’s like to have obligations and duties towards another living being. This builds up character, self-esteem, empathy and compassion.

Pick the right dog for your family

Choosing a pet is not to be taken lightly. You should know in advance what kind of dog you want and how much attention you are willing and able to devote to its grooming. Think if you want a small puppy or an adult dog. Puppies need more care and training, but will grow up together with your kids.  Consider the size of the dog as well. Can you keep a dog that weighs 50 kilos in a small apartment? Can you set aside 2 hours a day to go hiking with a hunting dog, or can you spare money and time to care for a dog that demands daily grooming? Do you have enough patience to train the dog with your kids? These are all the questions that should be asked when choosing a dog.

How to make the house pet-friendly and safe for kids

Another thing you should know is that you’ll have to make some changes around the house. Before a new puppy arrives, you will need to clean the house thoroughly so that the pup can be safe during the period of adaptation. Move all valuable and fragile things and make sure the dog can move around freely. Next thing is to go shopping for dog supplies. You will need food, bowls, toys, brushes, shampoo, leashes, collars and many other things before the puppy arrives. This allows you to relax when the new member of the family finally joins you. You will also need to pay extra attention to the places your puppy and your kids share. For better hygiene in your kid’s room, get colorful kids rugs that are high-quality, and easy to vacuum and clean. Don’t allow your dog to wander wherever it wants and make sure you monitor your kid while playing with the puppy. This is important, especially during the first few months.

With having a dog comes great joy, but also great responsibility. As long as you are ready, get a dog and provide your kid with a true friend.

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