Is Your Child Ready for a Dog?

Narrated from: Choosing a dog

If you want a dog you can one knowing you will be the primary caretaker. If you are considering a dog for your child, how do you know if he or she is old enough or mature enough to handle the responsibility? There are many ways to tell. A dog is such a big responsibility and you will likely still be responsible for the financial end with all of the tools you will need for training, comforts for your dog like a crate and bedding, his food and his shots and other veterinarian care. You must also be prepared for emergency accidents and illnesses. As far as your child goes he or she will need to be responsible enough to make sure your dog is fed and has fresh water. They should be responsible enough to provide the dog with exercise and lots of love. 

With my own children it was mandatory that they kept their rooms clean and that they could show me they were responsible enough to do a few chores around the house on a regular basis without being reminded repeatedly to get them done. This is a wonderful sign of maturity and it helps you to know if they are ready for a pet, but you probably should not start with a dog. Begin slowly with some sort of small furry creature such as a mouse, gerbil or hamster. If they can do well with something small, then it is time to consider a dog.

Take your time to research the breeds that appeal to you aesthetically. Narrow your choices to accommodate your space and the amount of time you have available to spend on a dog. Some breeds have tremendous grooming requirements while others have very low grooming requirements but they have tons of energy that needs to be burned off every day. They will all need some grooming and they will all need exercise. How much time do you and your family have to spend on the new pet’s care? Once you know the requirements of the kind of dog you want, it is time to visit the local pounds and shelters.  YES, do not shop, adopt!

As you peruse the plentiful pets the pounds and shelters have to offer keep your breed choices in mind. Many of the dogs available will have some or all of the traits of the breeds you like. If at first you do not find the one you want to bring home, wait a few days and repeat the process. Unfortunately people turn dogs in every day for a million reasons and the turnover is very high at most rescues. Be patient! The right dog for you and your family is well worth the wait. Almost all of the dogs at these shelters are wonderful loving pets that got into the wrong hands the first time and they deserve a second chance in a loving, well-educated home in your care!

Be prepared before you bring him home with all of the supplies you will need to care for him properly. He will be nervous the first few days and it will take him some time to get comfortable with the new surroundings. Be patient and keep your thinking caps on so you can begin training within the first week he is home.

to top of the page
Previous Next

Other articles that might interest you::