Is Your Child Ready For A Puppy or Dog?

Before you rush and bring a puppy or dog home, you need to ask themselves if this is really an ideal family situation for their child.

How Old Are Your Children?

 Bringing a puppy or dog into a home that already has a toddler or children is not a good idea. Unless of course the dog is specifically intended for children, there are a few things to consider.

1) How prepared are you to be a "parent" to a child? A puppy or dog takes a lot of work to be a toddler/child's role model. They are expected to be up to average trainability, be cratable and most importantly be interested in interacting with others. They shouldn't everyone solved instantly, but they should be taught to interact with other people, preferably in a positive manner.

2) How old is your child? Young children, especially, have a short life spans and it can be very exhausting to be responsible for that many years. An older child probably isn't thinking a three-year-old could be the best candidate to adopt a puppy or dog so they aren't looking for younger siblings.

3) Any pre-existing medical conditions? You would be amazed at the number of families with young children that find out a medical condition is the reason they can't have a dog. This isn't the first time this has happened. Usually, the problem stems from a vet telling them they cannot have the dog because of a condition they don't know the medical background on. As parents, it is absolutely vital we have a discussion with our child's doctor if we are going to proceed with a medical decision based on medical facts.

The Three-year Rule

You have a general rule that a child under three years old cannot be a pet. Yes, you need to keep in mind that the breeds of dogs and children aren't necessarily separate, but the ratio of one to three seems to be the major underlying factor for this restriction.

Not Being A Puppy or Dog Lover

Getting your child before he or she is 3 years old may be easier said than done. However, it still can be done. What you can do is start off slow. Just like " adolescence", your child will need to be carefully monitored and taught the entire process of dog handling and care. Puppies and dogs are a lot of responsibility and need to be handled with care. This means that you need to fill that responsibility before going full retard and rushing out and getting a pet.

If you are considering bringing a pet into your home, read up on the specific breed and decide what you envision doing with your dog. Take your child's ages and then check if that makes a good match. Make sure your child understands that this isn't a toy for them. Make sure you go over all the other responsibilities of caring for the pet and the rules of the house with your child. Taking the time to decide and prepare these rules may save your child from a lot of heartache when they find out they aren't going to be able to help with caring for the dog!

Sometimes, moving is an option. If you find this option too expensive, consider another way to save money. Before you choose to let a pet into your family, make sure you are going to have the means to pay for it.

Consider a second pet as well, in case you need to leave your child for a while. Having a second furry friend can help ease some of the separation anxiety a child may experience when they first leave their guardianship. It also gives your child a way to feel needed and loved.

Ease your child's initial fears by being there in the first place. reassuring them with your presence will help. Also, this will help your child understand the role that they and their pet will play in their life.

If you aren't sure whether or not you want to get a pet, check with your child's pediatrician or pediatric nurse to see if there are any children that would benefit from a family pet. Also, talk with the person that will be in charge of taking care of the new pet. This will help your child be informed and prepared for their new responsibility.

 supervise the introduction of the pet to the child. This means you need to be there to introduce your child and the pet to each other. Teach your child to be careful when petting or playing with the puppy or dog. Just like with a small child, it takes lots of care and Protection not to scold your dog for accidents and mistakes. This will teach them how to be on the safe side. supervise and watch them at all times.


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