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Dog person or not, your heart would melt when you play with a tiny puppy. Puppies are just adorable and your child, at some point, will ask you to get one. Many parents refuse to even think about it because we all know that pets, especially dogs, need a lot of work and training.
However, due to the constant nagging, you might find yourself willing to give it a try. Well, sorry to tell you, but this shouldn’t be the case. Dogs are soulful creatures. You need to properly plan the process of adoptiona, the place where they’ll stay, their training, and the daily life routine. Dogs can be tremendously depressed when neglected. So, why get them in the first place!
Having a dog when you have children is a whole different story. There are many more factors to consider.
Always ask yourself why
Why are you getting this dog? Do you really really want it? The dog will be part of your family; an independent family member who needs extra care. If you don’t really want the dog, you’ll probably end up giving it away after a period of neglect. You are your children’s role model. If they see you mistreating the dog, they’ll do too.
The breed matters
Choose a dog breed that suits your lifestyle and living arrangements. Dogs are generally active, but some breeds are more active than others. If you have a backyard or a home garden, own a big car and often go for weekend getaways, it’d be easier for you to get a breed that’s more active. If you stay home most of the time, then research breeds that are quiet and calm and have a higher ability to stay still.
Who will train and take care of the dog?
Dog training is a lot of effort and hard work, especially if you’re a parent. It’s basically like having a new baby; you have to feed regularly, potty train, clean after, talk for a walk, and pamper. This can be a lot of work for families with babies and toddlers, especially if you’re not experienced with dogs or haven’t lived with one before.
Your child’s age versus the dog’s
If you’re 100% positive that you want to buy or adopt a dog, the next thing to consider is the timing. If you ask me, I’d advise you to get a dog when your child finished toddler years. Older children are more responsible and help with dog chores. To train a dog, you will also need to have enough space and time to be able to do it properly. That’s more difficult if you have a demanding infant or toddler.
A dog’s lifespan in most cases doesn’t exceed 15 years. It could be as short as 7-8 years for some breeds. Losing a pet can be traumatizing for children, especially if they’re really attached to their dog. I personally believe that the older they are, the better they can handle it.
Hygiene and babies
It’s a no-brainer that dogs are less hygienic compared to other pets, such as cats, rabbits, fish, and turtles. Dogs can get germs and mites (parasites) on their skin and hair. Mites can cause mange, which is a skin disease that can be transmitted to humans but won’t survive on their skin. Also, warms are very common in dogs.
Dogs tend to express their love and affection by licking their humans, and that’s a whole other hygiene issue. Thus, you need to pay extra attention to your dog’s medical status and hygiene, and that includes dog vaccinations, brushing their hair, scheduling their showers, and constantly cleaning after them.
Eventually, dogs are really a man’s best friend. They’re fun, loving and you’ll never feel alone having a dog. Plan it properly and go for it, don’t just get them because you’re children insisted. I’m sure if you make the decision to house a dog, you will fall in love with them.
Further reading: Why Pets Are the Best Companions During Coronavirus Quarantine