Being a parent can be a tough job. One issue that parents often face is to decide whether or not they should buy a pet for their children. Dogs can make a great pet for parents of both young and older children but there is a lot of responsibility involved. Here are some ways to know if your kids are ready for a dog.
Talk to Your Kids about Owning a Dog before Buying One
Many parents rush out and buy a dog because they see a little puppy with a cute face and then fall head over heels in love and buy the dog before thinking it through. Sit down and talk to your kids about owning a dog after you have researched a possible breed of dog that could work in your household. For example, smaller dogs that can run fast typically do not do well in homes with children who are under the age of six because the child can trip on them and fall.
Have a discussion with the children and ask them how they will care for the dog and what they will do to help out with the chores such as feeding it, combing its hair, giving it water, and walking it. If the kids refuse to take any part in caring for the dog then you will most likely get stuck with doing everything for the dog which can be a huge undertaking. Kids need to want to be involved because it is a family pet so refusing to take part is a problem.
Try a Dry Run at Pet Ownership
Ask a friend to allow you to pet sit for a week or two. Observe how your kids interact with the dog. If they aggravate the dog such as chasing it too much, pulling its tail, or teasing it then they probably are not mature enough yet to handle the responsibility of having a job.
Write down notes about each child’s behavior with the dog. If they do a good job and are consistently taking part in caring for it then they are probably ready for a dog. It is important to set out rules regarding behavior around the dog before buying one because many kids get hurt by aggressive dogs every year.