For many people, the picture-perfect family just isn’t complete without a pet. Today, many couples and families choose to have dogs as their pet. However, taking on a pet, especially a dog, isn’t as easy as you might hope. So to help ensure that everyone in your family is ready for this transition, here are three tips for preparing your family to get a new dog.
Teach Your Kids How To Respect Animals
Before you bring a new pet into your home, including a dog, you’re going to want to be sure that your children are ready to be around this animal on a daily basis. While many children get very excited around dogs, this doesn’t mean that they understand how to give them the respect they deserve in order for everyone to stay safe while sharing a home together.
To help with this, Tisha Berg, a contributor to WorkingMother.com, recommends that you find plenty of opportunities for your kids to interact with other dogs before you get your own family dog. During each of these interactions, you should be teaching your kids the right ways to spend time around dogs. This should include how to approach dogs, when to leave them alone in order to avoid being bitten by a dog, and how to safely and calmly pet or play with a dog.
Have Your Kids Help You Dog-Proof Your Home
Once your think your children understand how to be around a dog in a safe and loving way, it’s now time to start preparing your home for the presence of your new pet.
Similar to babyproofing, Gina Shaw, a contributor to WebMD.com, shares that you’re going to want to remove anything that could get ruined by being chewed, licked, or eaten. This includes things like household cleaners, medicines, some potted plants, and toys with small parts or pieces.
During this removal process, you should also inform your kids that these things will have to stay out of the house, or at least off the floor, whenever your dog is around so that he or she will always be safe in your home.
Make A Plan For Routines and Responsibilities
Caring for a dog is a big responsibility that should be shared by your entire family, including your kids.
To help them prepare for this, Jen Hubley Luckwaldt, a contributor to Parents.com, suggests that the best way to ensure everyone is doing their part to care for your new dog is to make a plan for routines and responsibilities. Try creating a calendar where everyone has a turn walking the dog, feeding the dog, and bathing the dog. You may also need to lay out a plan for house-training if you’re getting a puppy that hasn’t mastered this skill yet.
If you’re thinking about getting a new dog for your family, consider using the tips mentioned above to help prepare yourselves for this new addition.