For many families, their family unit just isn’t complete without a pet. But for many parents, bringing in a pet like a dog is almost like having another child. So when your kids start pestering you for a dog, it can go a long way to have them prepare for this arrival well in advance of actually getting the dog.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three ways to prepare your kids for getting a family dog.
Teach Your Kids How To Safely Interact With Dogs
The most important thing to teach your kids before bringing a dog into your home is how to safely interact with dogs. Without this skill, even the tamest dogs could lash out at your children and bite them or others.
To avoid this, it’s a good idea to teach your kids how to be safe around dogs. According to Louis Anthony Loftus, a contributor to Fatherly.com, one of the most basic rules to teach your kids about interacting with dogs is to treat them the same way that they would treat another child. This includes being soft to them, not picking on them or bugging them, and leaving them alone when they’re sleeping, eating, or playing with their own toys.
With these rules in place, your children will be able to avoid a lot of situations when dogs have been known to be rough or aggressive.
Practice By Dog Sitting
Once your kids know what’s expected of them when they’re around dogs, you should allow them to practice these skills without actually bringing your own family dog home yet.
One great way to do this, according to Katharine Stahl, a contributor to PopSugar.com, is to volunteer to dog sit for a friend or family member that has a dog. This will allow both you and your kids to see what your life would be like if you had a dog of your own. You’ll be able to see what areas your kids need to gain a better understanding of as well as how much responsibility your kids are actually able to take on at this point in time.
Prep Your Home Together
When you’ve decided that your family is ready to get a family dog, the final thing you need to take care of before bringing the dog into your home is prepare your home for the dog’s arrival.
In doing this, Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, a contributor to Parents.com, part of prepping your home consists of removing or hiding anything that could harm your new dog as well as bringing in things like dog bowls, a kennel, dog food, and more.
If you’re considering getting a family dog, use the tips mentioned above to help prepare your kids for this new phase in life.