When thinking about the best time for your child to have a dog there are many questions you must honestly answer without just giving in to your child or children’s pleas for a puppy. Kids and dogs are as natural as apple pie and ice cream, but sometimes the timing is not right, so we have information for you below to help you make this decision. Selecting the proper time for your child to have a dog often decides if your children will develop a lifelong love for dogs or turn them against ever owning a dog.
One of the first questions that must be answered is: are your kids old enough to assume partial responsibility for the care and maintenance of a dog? This is often what trips up many parents and their child when a dog is introduced into the family. Mom and dad end up taking care of the dog while their child shows little interest in the care of the dog. If you suspect this may be the end result then it is not the best time for your child to have a dog.
If your child is still an infant or a toddler they are not going to miss having a dog because they have never been around one. Seriously consider waiting until they are at least six years old before allowing them to have a dog. By the time a child reaches this age they are mentally and physically able to understand the rules you will have concerning the care of the dog.
Is this the first dog you have ever owned? If so it is vital to understand bringing a puppy into your home is much like bringing home another human baby. They are going to require house training, vet visits, special food, and their own place to sleep. He or she will require a place outside to do their business, and so much more. Mainly, a lot more of your time than you probably realize. There is also the added expense involved so if you’re on a tight budget with little extra money left over, maybe the time is not good for adding another member to your family.
As I mentioned above kids and doggies naturally go together but only when the child has matured to the point they can appreciate what a dog brings to your family. Only you are going to know if the time is right for your child to have a dog.
Did you have a dog as a child? Please tell our readers about your first dog.