As you may know, dogs are a fantastic pet for a family. Kids love them, and they are highly beneficial to their development. For one thing, they are usually a child’s best friend and they will learn how to socialize by communicating with the pooch.
Having a pet also teaches your child responsibility as they need to take care of the dog. And there has been a lot of research which has proven that having a dog when your child is young will stop them from getting fur allergies when they are older!
And they will be a lot nicer to animals if they have one as a pet. However, it’s not always easy to introduce a dog to your family.
It can take a while to adjust to the new furry addition to your family! Therefore, here are six pieces of advice you need when it comes to introducing a dog to your family!
Research different breeds
Although your family will love any dog, it’s still important to research different breeds before you add a pooch to your family. Some breeds, such as labradors, are known to be a lot better with kids than other breeds.
Therefore, it’s best to be clued up before you head to the pound. Decide on what’s most important to you as a family when looking for the best breed. For example, if you want a dog that won’t be as playful, you might want to go for a sheepdog.
Or if you want to go for one that doesn’t shed as much, you ought to go for a poodle. To help you choose a breed, you can find many books that will prove an interesting read for your family.
It will also ensure you make your home ready for the new addition. Once you have a few breeds in mind for your family, you can let your kids help you choose the new dog.
Prepare your kids for the new arrival
If your children have never been around dogs before, it will be an entirely new experience for them.
Therefore, you need to teach them all about dogs before they arrive. You can find plenty of children’s books which are based on getting a new pet.
It will help them to understand the basics of having a dog.
Also, you might want to visit a friend or neighbor who has a pet dog already. It will help your child feel less nervous when they meet their own pooch.
Take baby steps
When you first bring a pet home, the dog might find it overwhelming if the kids are all over them.
After all, they might be confused by their new surroundings. Especially if they are a small puppy or a rescue dog.
And having your kids all over them will not help the situation. In fact, they might end up biting if they are nervous.
Therefore, it’s best to take baby steps at the start when you first get your dog.
Let your kid spend a little time with them, and the amount of time can grow as your dog gets used to its surroundings.
You might want to get your kid to feed the dog some treats, which will help them to slowly build a relationship.
By taking baby steps, it will ensure the two of them can become best friends before long!
Teach them how to pet the dog properly
A lot of kids are too rough when they first spend time with their pet. They treat them like a toy, rather than a living thing.
Therefore, it’s so important to spend time with your kid and explain that they need to be careful stroking your new doggy.
Show them how to pet the dog carefully, so that they understand how to do it. After all, kids follow what their parents do so they will follow your lead. It’s best to explain to them the importance of being careful with your pet now before they end up hurting the dog.
And make sure you always stay close to your child when they are petting the dog.
That way, you can react quickly if your child starts to get aggressive with your dog.
Set some ground rules in your home
When you introduce a pet to your family, it’s so important to set some ground rules.
For example, you might want to decide on areas of your home that the dog is allowed to go in.
That way, the dog won’t end up sleeping in one the kid’s bedrooms. After all, if you let them have the run of the house, it will be a nightmare to keep it clean.
Pet hair gets everywhere, and you will have to hunt down good vacuums to keep your home tidy.
Not only this but creating some no-go areas in the home will stop the pooch destroying your house.
After all, you don’t want to go into your bedroom and find a half-eaten slipper waiting for you.
Therefore, set some ground rules for your kids so that they know where they are not allowed to take the dog.
It will also help your dog get into a routine. They will know exactly where they are meant to sleep at night.
Decide on roles for your family
A new dog brings a lot of responsibility to a family. After all, you need to ensure it’s well looked after so that it has a happy and healthy life. So when you introduce a dog to your family, you should decide on roles for everyone.
For example, you might decide that your kids should take it in turns to feed the dog.
Or you might ask them to walk the dog (with you, of course) every other day!
Giving them a chance to get involved with the dog will teach them responsibility and help them bond with the pooch.
And remember that getting a dog isn’t a short-term thing. It’s a lifelong responsibility, so make sure your family is ready to commit to a pooch.