Drug testing

Is YOUR Child Ready for a Dog?

Are you considering buying a dog for your child or children?

Before you do, take a moment to evaluate your family and determine if your children are ready for a dog. Here are some questions you might use to help you decide if buying a dog is right for your family.

Babies and Toddlers

Is this your first dog? Do you have older children as well? Why are you getting a dog now?

These three questions will help you to consider whether you have the knowledge concerning the time and effort required to care for a dog. Dogs are a big responsibility and if you have not been solely responsible for a dog previously you may find the work and time involved in training, feeding, grooming and playing to be more than you can handle while caring for a young baby or toddler.

Your young children may benefit from having a dog from a young age. They will certainly develop very strong attachments to the family pet. But young children are not very trustworthy to be left alone around a dog and they are not aware enough to desire a pet. Not only will they do just as well without a dog, but the extra caution needed while young children are present may cause you more stress and frustration than waiting until they are older.

If you are deciding to get a dog because you feel it is a normal part of family life and you want to 'complete' the package while your child is young, do not rush into purchasing a dog right away. For the various reasons above, a dog should be considered a major decision and waiting one year or more may be best for your situation.

If the dog is to be a companion to a mom who will now be home alone with her child for long periods of time, maybe an older dog will provide the needed company while avoiding the extra work of training a puppy.

Preschoolers and Young Children

If your family is established and you are not expecting to add a baby into the mix, you still need to consider a few things before getting a dog.

Are you aware of the time required? Can you afford a dog? Will your children be safe?

The work of training (especially house training) and caring for a puppy can easily take several hours of your day. Depending on your method of obedience and house training you should consider if you have the energy to deal with a puppy consistently and with urgency while implementing house rules at this crucial stage.

Young children and preschoolers may find it exciting to help you feed, wash and walk the dog. However, children this young are still likely to startle or maul a puppy which may lead to accidental injuries ? harming both the puppy and the child.

The cost of owning a dog must also be considered. Vet fees, adoption or purchase costs, licensing, food and grooming should be accounted for before going to pick the dog out. Doing your homework now will avoid unpleasant disappointment in the future.

If you feel that your life is free enough of distractions that you will look forward to the temporary unsettling of bringing a puppy home, you may well find this a wonderful, curious age that will be delighted with a puppy. You will need diligence in watching both the puppy and children until training has been established. You will also need to give your children reminders about how they must treat the puppy to prevent accidents.

Older Children and Teens

Some families choose to wait until children are older before bringing a dog home. In many cases they feel this will be an aid in teaching their children responsibility. But what questions should parents of older children ask before getting a dog?

Who is responsible for the dog? How long will the dog be with you?

In all cases the parents must ultimately accept the responsibility of caring for the dog, both financially and physically. Although your pre-teen may insist on his or her desire to take full responsibility for walking, feeding and playing with the dog, you as a parent must be willing to take this on if your child fails to keep to his or her word.

It is a big responsibility to take on a pet like a dog. They are far more demanding on your attention than cats or other pets. They are social animals and you will be doing great harm if you leave your dog tied up outside for days at a time, ignored and unhappy.

If you still choose to get a dog as a family pet you should consider the future care of the dog. A dog generally has a life span of 10 ? 15 years, depending on the breed. If you are getting a dog as a companion for an older child or a teenager who will ultimately care for the dog during the years to come when your child leaves home, goes to college or gets married?

While all of these questions should assist you in determining if your family should get a dog right now, it is also wise to find out more about the kind of dog that would best suit your family. All the work you do beforehand will help you make a choice that everyone will be able to enjoy!

Shannon Emmanuel is a freelancer writer and the author of "How to Select the Best Dog or Puppy for Your Children". Find out more about choosing a family dog at http://best-dog-breed-for-children.com

In The News:

A unique 2,000-year-old stone inscription unearthed in Israel has thrilled archaeologists.
A fire and rescue squad in California said they’re trying to find the owner of a tortoise that was discovered by paramedics Thursday taking a slow-and-steady stroll in El Cajon.
One of the most prized possessions of Brazil's National Museum has been found amid debris after a massive fire on Sept. 2 sent the building up in flames.
A 12-pound meteorite that blasted from the moon was sold at a Boston auction for the out-of-this-world price of $612,500 on Friday.
California residents were stunned to watch a fireball of space junk shoot across the sky and fall onto a nearby ranch last week.
Golfers in St. Petersburg, Florida, were shocked when they saw a massive rattlesnake slithering across the course.
New Jersey workers were cleaning up the Pequannock River in Bloomingdale's Sloan Park to prepare for a flood mitigation project Thursday when they spotted a stone with an unusual marking.
An extremely rare menu from Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage to New York is up for auction in the U.K. this weekend.
An invasive insect species native to China, India, and Vietnam is posing a problem in at least two states in the northeastern and southeastern part of the country.

What You Should Know About Dog Health Care

Our dogs are now, more than ever, a very important... Read More

5 Tips For Feeding A Happy, Healthy Dog

Do you really know all there is to know about... Read More

The Cat Learned How to Work the WHAT?

When I carried him home, he was this tiny little... Read More

7 Good Reasons to Have Your Cat Spayed or Neutered

Every year, many cat owners decide to get their cat... Read More

Lemon Tetras

Glassily transparent, the lemon tetra (hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis) could appear to... Read More

BARF Diet For Dogs - Not As Gross As It Sounds!

Are you just starting to research the BARF diet for... Read More

Practical Advice for Adopting a Dog

If you are thinking of adding a dog to your... Read More

Correcting a Dog Behavior Problem - Jumping

The first thing to realize when you are training a... Read More

Mind-Set: The Second Of 6 Keys To Building A Life Long Partnership With Your Horse

Your mind-set, approach and way of thinking (beliefs) are critical... Read More

Wooden Bird Cages

Gone are the days of boring bird cages. Today's bird... Read More

Media Influence on Public Perception of Exotic Cat Ownership

What makes something news? The fact that you take good... Read More

Putting A Dog To Sleep

I was talking to a friend of mine today and... Read More

Beds for the Pets: Sleeping in Comfort

As we love to have a comfortable place to sleep... Read More

Animal Ethics

IntroductionA long time ago, before evolution turned the primate into... Read More

Pet Vitamins are Essential for Your Dogs Health

Vitamins for Pets - How Essential Are They?A vitamin supplement... Read More

How To Grow Daphnia For The Aquarium

The benefits of feeding live food to fish in a... Read More

Westies Dogs ? Please Consider Adopting an Older Westie Dog

Everybody loves a baby animal and Westie puppies are adorable,... Read More

Cockatiel Illnesses

Cockatiels are one of the most lovable pets in the... Read More

Breed Success in Your Puppy Search

The numbers will make any pet lover blanch with disgust,... Read More

Dog Training: Teaching Your Dog Self-Control

Is your dog one of those that pulls at his... Read More

Natural Horsemanship Patientis: The 4th Of 6 Keys To Developing A Partnership With Your Horse

The 4th Of 6 Keys To Building A Life Long... Read More

Preparing Your Home For a New Puppy

While excitement and anticipation will be at the top of... Read More

4 Things Frustrated Dog Owners Should Know

You've probably had a day or two when you felt... Read More

Canine Selection: A Guideline for Picking Your Perfect Companion

Let's face it ? everything is cute when it's small... Read More

How To Find Your Lost Dog

The first thing to do when searching for a lost... Read More

high bay induction lighting architectural street lighting Pete's produce ..