Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pet Pointers: When, Why and How: Getting Your Children Their First Pet


Getting a family pet is often a fun experience.  But, watching a child’s reaction to getting their first one is something mothers never forget.  As you will see, there are many factors involved in adopting your first furry friend.  Understanding these issues from the beginning will help make your new addition a longtime member of the family. 

Preparing For Your First Pet

Before you begin the process of getting a new friend for your house, there are several ways to tell if your child is ready.  Expressing consistent interest is one of the first signs.  It’s one thing if they see a dog, and get excited.  But, showing ongoing eagerness will show that they may be ready for the responsibility.

But, as we all know, each child is different. Showing a high level of maturity is a major factor in readiness.  If he or she doesn’t show that they are mature enough to take care of a pet, they are not ready.

Next, set up the rules ahead of time.  Let your child understand that it is his or her responsibility to take care of the pet.  Sure, you may be willing to help.  But, if they really want to have , they have to be willing to take care of it themselves.

Choosing The Pet

Once you know that your child is ready, it’s time to explore your options.  According to most experts, choosing a pet should be a family decision.  While your child will be one of the main caretakers, the pet needs to get along with the entire family.  The balance between the child’s ability to care for it, and respect of the parents’ schedule, and energy level, is key.  A rambunctious dog will need to be calm when everyone is tired.  The entire family, as well as your new addition, should all feel safe. 

Interactions Between Children And Dogs

If you’re going to adopt a dog, it is vital to understand how it will relate to your family.  No matter which one you get, knowing that they have a “pack mentality” will help you realize some things.  The difference between dominance, and submission, in dogs is key.  To them, everyone has a position in the group.  The issue comes with a small child because - depending on the breed - the dog may consider your young one subordinate to them.  Thus, they may not listen to him or her.  So, understanding a dog’s notion of hierarchy is vital.  SInce different breeds may consider hierarchy in different ways, looking at every option is important.

Small Dogs

When exploring different breeds, you may find small dogs cute, compact, and loving.  After all, they are great for seniors, and apartment dwellers, since they don’t need a big space to run around.  In fact, many experts say that first-time dog owners should get a small breed.  They are easier to handle, and are happy just about everywhere.  While some breeds may need training, and socializing, they are very loving, and affectionate.


Getting your child his or her first pet is a momentous time in a family’s life.  It is one that will be remembered for years to come.  But, it is important to do so only when you know he or she is mature, and responsible, enough to care for it properly.  Understanding safety issues, and how a dog thinks, will also be important for everyone involved.  However, once everyone knows what to expect, your furry friend will quickly become a new member of the family.

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