Getting a dog can be very exciting! BUT, it’s also a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly – not only for your family but for the dog itself.
You want to make sure to have the best environment for them so that they are healthy and happy.
You also need to ensure you’re up for the challenge.
This is why you need to assess your situation carefully and know what it means to be a dog owner before adopting a four-legged friend.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need to consider when getting a dog for the family.
The first and most important thing is making sure that you pick the right breed of dog.
You’ll want to look past generic assumptions.
For example, some people will assume that a smaller dog like a Chihuahua will automatically be a good choice of family dog, but this breed isn’t that great around kids.
Chihuahuas can have bad tempers and they’re also fragile. They will not hesitate to bite if your child plays a bit too rough with them.
Instead, do some research into the best breeds for families that have young children.
Some examples include Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Huskies, and Beagles.
These breeds have great temperaments, love the energy of children, and are very protective over their families while still being affectionate to strangers.
It’s also important to consider the health aspects of pure breed dogs.
Retrievers, for example, are known for developing bone and joint issues in later life.
This isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid this breed, but it is something you’ll want to look out for.
If you want to make sure that your dog’s diet is properly supplemented with everything they need to ward off joint pain, we suggest you check out this range of joint tablets for dogs.
YuMOVE makes joint tablets for dogs that contain things like glucosamine and omega 3s. These vitamins are beneficial to older dogs and dogs suffering from osteoarthritis.
Do ensure that you have a budget for vet bills and/or pet insurance prior to adopting a dog – especially if you decide to adopt an older dog for your family.
How Ready Are Your Kids For Getting A Dog?
You also have to make sure that your children will be ready to take care of the dog.
If you can’t even get them to clean up their rooms, then it will probably be you that will be left to take care of the dog most of the time.
So, make sure that everyone in the house is ready to put in the effort.
You also have to ensure you’re ready for a pet as well.
Take a look at your schedule and make sure there’s enough space for dog care. Puppies can’t be left alone for long periods of time, so won’t be ideal for families that are out of the house from 9-5.
All dogs require someone to take them on walks every day, feed them, play with them, and keep them occupied.
If your children have a lot of extracurricular activities, or you like to travel often, fitting a dog into your life will be difficult.
One of the tricks you can use to see if your children are truly ready to take care of a dog would be to get them a smaller pet first, like a guinea pig.
These make great pets and are low maintenance, so if they can’t care for a pet like this, they’ll never be able to handle a dog.
Your Available Space
Another very important thing you’ll need to consider is how much available space you have.
Some dogs are bred for exercise, and keeping them in a small flat is cruel.
Some dogs, however, will do very well in small spaces – Yorkshire Terriers, for instance.
If you get a dog that needs a lot of space and place them in a small environment, they will get depressed and anxious and will start causing damage.
So, make sure that you consider your environment and choose a breed accordingly.
Getting a New Dog vs Adopting One
You might have thought about adopting a pet, and that is a very noble idea.
But it’s not always the best option if you have young children or if it’s your first dog.
Dogs at rescues can often have behaviour issues because of trauma.
However, they can be a good option if you don’t necessarily want a puppy.
In this case, you will again need to look at the dog’s breed as well as their history.
These are all things you’ll need to take into consideration when getting a pet for your family.
Take your time and make sure that you’re ready to make the commitment.