Have you thought about getting a dog and just don’t know if it’s the right decision because of kids in the home? Or maybe you want to start a family but don’t know if a dog should come first. In this article, we will look at and answer your questions when it comes to getting a dog with children in the mix.
Before we look into the logistics of getting a dog, do dogs and children make a good combination?
Are Dogs and Children Good Together?
Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times looked at the benefits that dogs and other pets provide children. A Swedish study was conducted with over one thousand children. The researchers found that there was a link between pets in the household and child allergies. Children who had no pets in the home experienced a greater number of allergies than those who owned a dog or cat. Dogs expose children to necessary allergens. Other benefits are listed below.
- Provide your child with a friend.
- Dogs teach anyone, including kids, to have empathy.
- Require your child to learn responsibility.
- Allow a reason to have your kid go outside.
Should I Get a Dog Before or After Baby?
This is a common question for those mothers who want to have a dog but also don’t want to put off having children.
There are advantages to getting a dog first. Some say that buying a puppy, either with your spouse or on your own, can prep you for having a child. Keep in mind that they are nothing alike, but puppies do require a lot of time and energy and tend to keep you up late at night. You can choose to buy a dog before having a baby, but this should happen a few years before adding any children to your family. Babies and puppies do not go well together and can be stressful to manage. Therefore, it might be best to have a child first and then reconsider when to add a dog.
What Age Should My Children Be When Getting a Dog?
Now that we have determined that a dog should come after baby is born, when exactly should you think about getting a dog?
The site, abcathome.com, an online community for homeschooling mothers, looks at the right time to add a puppy to the mix. They recommend buying a dog for the family, puppy or adult, when the children are older. When your children are able to share responsibilities, the family can work together to take care of the dog at home. Therefore, it seems better for all parties involved to get your dog after baby has grown up a bit.
Preparing a Child For a Pet?
Not only do you need to puppy-proof the house and buy all of the necessary items, your child needs to be prepared.
In the same article from abcathome.com, it talks about the steps involved to make sure that each and every family member is on the same page, including your kids. Be sure to talk to your children about the new responsibilities that they will have. You can even create a fun, interactive chore list with age-appropriate tasks. You must also make sure that your children know how to correctly interact with the new dog. This will be easier to explain to your older kids. When training the new furry family member, have your kids sit with you while you train the dog. This way they will feel a part of the dog’s life. It can also be a fun way to engage your children.
What Do I Need For My New Dog?
Before purchasing a new dog, it is important to have the house stocked with everything it needs. You can buy products from online sites, such as Mr. Peanut’s Premium Products, to help you find what you need. Below are a few of the essentials that you’ll need for your new dog.
- Pet carrier or crate
- Dog bowls
- Dog food
- Puppy pads
- Treats for training
- Dog bed
Getting a dog when you have children can be challenging and rewarding. To avoid adding stress to your family, consider adding the furry friend when your kids are older. Prepare them for the new animal with tips and tasks that they can use to take care of the dog. And make sure that you buy all of the necessary products for your puppy before it arrives. Enjoy your new dog!