So you’ve decided to get a pet dog for your family home, and you’re looking to get yourself prepared? There’s plenty to think about, and one of the most important things to do is to prepare your children. To help you out, consider these five simple hints.
1. Talk about responsibility
Before you bring home a new dog it’s vital to chat to your children about responsibility. Your kids will need to appreciate what it means to own an animal, and understand every duty that’s expected. Create a chore chart so that your children know when they will need to help with walking, feeding etc. At this stage, ensure that you ask them if they have any questions, and help them to learn as much as possible.
2. Ensure they know the rules
You’ll need to establish some ground rules to ensure that your kids know how they should treat the dog. Set rules for play time, so that both your children and the dog remain safe. Ensure they know what they can and cannot feed the dog. They must understand there are human certain foods which are toxic to dogs. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs and so may require a special brand such as Burgess Sensitive Dog Food.
With a clear set of rules, you’ll have peace of mind when leaving your kids alone with your new pet.
3 . A little practice
Perhaps this will be your kid’s first dog, or maybe even their first pet? In this case you’ll want to prepare them with a little bit of practice. Call up any friends who have doggies, and offer to look after their pooch for a day or so. When you’re pet sitting, allow your children to get to grips with all aspects of looking after the dog. They should practice the feeding, grooming, playing, and of course, walking. If you don’t have any ‘dog-parent’ friends, try the ‘Borrow My Dog’ application!
4. Training options
When you’re bringing a dog into your family home you’ll want to ensure that it’s well trained. You might want to hire a dog trainer, or you could train the dog yourself. To help you train your dog there are various dog training apps you might like to use including GoodPup, Dog Clicker and iTrainer Dog Whistle. All of these apps have a range of nifty features to support the training process.
5. Make the decision together
When you are choosing a new dog, it’s best to make the decision together as a family. Dogs all have different personalities, and you’ll want to choose an animal that is the right fit for your kids. Ensure that your kids get enough time to interact with the dogs. Most dog breeders will allow you to spend a good amount of time with each animal, particular charity centers like the Dogs Trust.
With these five simple tips, you’ll support your children to enjoy their time with their new pet.
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*This is a collaborative article