Are you a parent who’s considering getting a puppy so your child can grow up alongside a dog? But maybe you aren’t sure if now is the right time seeing as your child is still young? As it is, getting a pet is a very serious decision, and it’s even more serious if there is a young child in the house. No matter how much your child begs for a puppy, it’s not a simple decision to make considering how big of a commitment it is to have a dog. In order to actually make this decision, it’s important to carefully consider how your life will change once you bring a dog into your home. Read on to see whether your child is mature enough to have a dog and what awaits for you once you do decide to get one.

Is your kid responsible enough?

Or maybe the better question would be ‘Is your child old enough?’ So, if you’re pregnant or have a toddler, it’s better to wait at least until your child is three years old seeing is you’ll have plenty of responsibilities. Even at three years old, your child is simply too young to take care of a dog so it’s probably best to wait until your child is seven or eight years old. Not only is a three-year-old simply unable to take on a responsibility for a dog, but their uncoordinated moves can harm or spook the dog which can in turn make the animal react aggressively.

So, after you’ve waited long enough for your child to be old enough to take care of their dog, it’s important not to place the whole responsibility over the dog to your child because it’s simply impossible for your child to do everything. While your child will certainly learn some responsibility from having a dog, at the end of the day, having this dog is your responsibility as the adult. Remember, don’t let the dog suffer because your child won’t do the chores they were meant to do. Don’t allow the dog to be neglected because there is a disagreement whose turn is it to feed it or take it out for a walk.

Keep the chores age-appropriate

As mentioned above, it’s simply impossible to expect from your child to take care of a dog all by themselves. This is why it’s important to set some ground rules on who’s going to do what for and with the dog before actually getting one. While even a very young child can help with some very basic dog care, it’s always best to supervise everything. A school-age child can be asked to take on some daily responsibilities like filling the food and water bowls and they can even actively get involved with dog training. A bit older child can be asked to take on more chores like grooming the dog as well as walking it and picking up after it.

Find the right dog

While many think that it’s best to get a puppy for a child, this might be the wrong decision seeing as an older dog can be less stressful for the family. Older animals can be more tolerant towards the child and they may already be trained. Also, take into consideration the size of the dog. The bigger the dog, the more likely it is it will knock down your small child. On the other hand, a tiny dog can be too fragile for a young child who can accidentally hurt it. In order to find a suitable dog for your child it’s best to do some research and find a dog breed which is best suited for families with young children.

Prepare yourself for the dog’s arrival

Finally, after you’ve made this important decision to get a dog and you’ve decided on the breed and you’ve set up the time to actually pick up the dog, it’s important to prepare your home and your family for the day the dog will arrive. Make sure you have all the necessary grooming tools, playthings and separate bowls filled with water and yummy Black Hawk dog food so your dog has all it needs once it arrives. And while your family will be super excited to finally welcome a dog in their home, remember to stay relaxed in order to avoid any nervous energy your new pet might pick up on.

While getting a dog is a serious responsibility to take on, it’s definitely worth it because having a dog in your home and as a part of your family will make your lives richer and more fun. Just think how many fond childhood memories your kid will have filled with playing and cuddling with their loving childhood pet.