Author: Brittany Cotton
Getting your first family pet is an unforgettable experience that will create a lifetime of memories and also teach your kids about responsibility. While many families want to adopt a puppy, bringing a dog of any age into your home requires careful planning rather than making an impulsive decision.
Have you been browsing pet finders or have your kids been begging for a puppy? Here are some things to consider before you bring a furry four-legged friend into your home.
Choosing the Right Dog
Whether you’re planning on adopting a puppy or older dog, it’s important to make sure you are selecting the right dog for your family. Just like us, dogs have different personalities, behaviors, and preferences. Some dogs are better suited for families and to live with children while other dogs don’t like children or prefer to live in a quiet household with a single owner.
You are more likely to encounter older dogs who may not be the best match for families with kids, but you could face the same challenges with a puppy or younger dog. Before you adopt, it’s important to get as much information about the dog and spend some quality time with the pup before you decide whether or not to adopt.
Whether you’re adopting from an animal shelter or purchasing directly from a breeder, it’s a good idea to create a list of questions about the dog. The questions you have may differ from other families, but it’s important to ask about personality traits, likes and dislikes, activity level, amount of training, and other essential information.
Getting to Know Your Pup
Before you finalize the adoption, make sure that all your immediate family members get the chance to meet and interact with the dog. Keep in mind that some puppies or older dogs may take a little time to warm up to new people. If you don’t have the time, patience, or desire to help a dog through a transition, the pup’s not for you.
Prepping Your Home For Puppy
One of the benefits of adopting an older dog, which is past the puppy stage, is that they are already house trained. While you might have to prepare your home for any age of the dog, puppies require the most “proofing.”
When puppy-proofing your home, look at the task as you might with baby or toddler proofing. Keep valuables out of reach and if you have expensive or special items that might be enticing to puppy teeth, such as leather or wood furniture, keep an eye on your puppy or put the items out of reach. Persian rugs and other hard to clean items should be kept “off-limits” until your puppy is completely house trained.
Getting the Right Supplies For Your Puppy
There’s always the chance that you’ll need to buy more supplies after you adopt your pup, but it’s best to have the essentials before you adopt. Indestructible toys, dog beds, and crates are “must needs” for most families with a puppy. Find high-quality items that will withstand the chewing of a puppy and have enough toys to keep your energetic pup entertained.
Are Your Kids Ready For a Dog?
You kids may be making lists of reasons why you should get a dog and are making promises that they will pick up every mess a puppy makes but is your family really ready for a dog? Before you bring a furry canine into your home, talk as a family, and make realistic expectations about caring for a pup.
Even if you have younger children, they can still help with feeding, training, and other daily tasks. Talk about the importance of raising a dog as a family. Your children also need to know how to handle dogs appropriately and how to be respectful to all dogs. If you have young children, never leave them unattended with a dog of any age as injuries, and other issues can arise.
A dog is a welcome addition to almost every family, but it’s essential to think about all the pros and cons before you bring a four-legged friend home.
About the Author:
Brittany Cotton is a freelance writer with a passion for health and happiness. If there are preventable methods for health issues that are common today, you will find her writing about them. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, painting or baking yummy treats.