Many kids dream of owning a pooch, whether a small Poodle, a large Golden Retriever, or even a mix of both worlds, the Mini Groodle. Little do they know that there is more to pet ownership than just having an adorable canine to cuddle and play with. Adopting a dog is a huge responsibility – something a child should be prepared for.
If your kid begs you for a dog, keep an open mind. Sure, owning a pooch demands time and effort, but bringing one home will surely be one of the most fulfilling experiences your family will ever have. It is important, however, that your child be prepared for the reality of having a dog. Here are three ways to prepare them for this new venture:
Dog-Sit for Someone You Know
Before deciding to grant your child the pooch of their dreams, get them to interact with someone else’s dog first. Ask your canine-owning relatives, friends, or neighbours if you can watch their pet for a few days.
If they agree, request that their dog be allowed to stay in your home instead of theirs. This way, your child will have an idea of how a canine behaves in an unfamiliar place, just like a newly adopted puppy.
Once the dog has arrived in your home, have your child approach it slowly and calmly from the side, making sure to leave some space between them so as not to overwhelm the canine. Tell your child to let the pooch come to them first and not the other way around.
When you feel that your borrowed dog is finally comfortable in your home and around your child, have your kid get involved in the feeding, grooming, playing, training, and walking processes. Tell your child that these are the responsibilities that come with owning a canine.
Teach Your Child the Dos and Don’ts
Many children, especially the younger ones, do not understand how to properly interact with a dog. It is important that you educate your child that canines are not toys and should be handled gently.
Before getting a pooch, teach your child some dog respect. This is because even the friendliest canines have a limit to how much they can tolerate. A kid should be told the correct way to act around a dog to avoid provoking it and causing it to become aggressive.
Here are some rules to set:
- Do not pull a dog’s ears or tail.
- Do not poke its eyes.
- Do not grab its fur.
- Do not sit or ride on it.
- Do not kick or hit it.
- Do not stomp on its paws.
- Do not tackle it into the ground.
Discuss with Your Child Their Responsibilities
There is a lot more to owning a dog than meets the eye. Canines need love, attention, playtime, nourishment, grooming, and exercise, among many other things. It is imperative that you make sure your child understands the responsibilities that come with bringing a canine home.
Discuss with your kid their duties ahead of time. Sure, your whole family will be on board, but there will still be expectations from your child. After all, the canine is theirs to begin with. Ask your kid if they are prepared to feed, walk, and train their desired dog daily. Find out if they are willing to do all these for the entire lifetime of their pet.
Being young and excited about having a cute animal to play with, your child will likely agree to all the responsibilities. As a parent, you should be prepared to become your kid’s backup plan should they lose interest in caring for their pooch later on.
Any responsible dog owner will never get rid of their pooch unless they have a very good reason. However, it is a little different for children. Some kids will immediately want their pooch out of sight the moment it becomes unmanageable. While this is not a good excuse to give up a dog, it is common among many families. To make sure you never have to rehome your pet, adopt from a reputable site such as PetsforHomes.com.au. An ethical seller will make sure you bring home a canine that has an excellent temperament, was bred in humane conditions, and is healthy.