The addition of a dog to your family can be a great way to get your kids more involved in the running of the household, give them a sense of responsibility and bring joy to everyone that lives in your home. When a dog is hastily chosen or introduced to the household on a whim, however, the situation can be a miserable one for all involved parties. Before you give in to your kids’ fevered pleas for their very own dog, there are some things you should carefully consider.
- A Pet is a Lifelong Commitment – Just like any other long-term commitment, the addition of a dog to your family is something that you need to fully understand before taking the plunge. When you bring your dog home, he will become a part of your family unit and should be treated as such. Relinquishing a dog because you made an uniformed or impulsive decision will be traumatic to him and can be very upsetting to kids that have become attached to him. It’s better to forgo the idea of a family dog altogether than to adopt one that you’ll later surrender.
- Your Puppy and Your Children Will Not “Grow Up Together” – There’s a prevailing misconception that puppies and babies are the ideal combination. In fact, most families find the exact opposite to be true. Just as a new baby needs constant supervision and attention, so will a brand new puppy. Hold off on the introduction of a puppy to your family until the youngest members are old enough to understand the importance of being gentle.
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