What Having A Dog Can Do For Your Kids
Having a pet is much more than just having something to play with now and then in your home. It’s much more than simply playing fetch, or having an excuse to go for a walk. A pet should be considered an addition to the family, someone you should make real adjustments for, and someone who can complete your family unit top to bottom. If you have kids, bringing in a pet to the home can be a wonderful idea, in different ways. In this article, we’re going to mainly focus on dogs and cats, but some of the considerations explored here can also be applied to smaller, more hutch-friendly animals.
Bringing a pet into your household is more than a mere indulgence. It should be considered an event, something you’re in for the long haul. We would consider the following:
Of course, we need to get the obvious out of the way first. Purchasing a dog can help keep your kids and household safe. Why? Well, often a bark is good enough to prevent any trespasser from gaining the courage to enter onto your premises. Even a ‘beware of the dog’ sign backed up by the presence of an animal can prevent any ne’er do wells from deciding to take advantage of your household, even when you’re on vacation. Dogs have an intrinsic intuition for foul play, especially when fiercely territorial. Dogs also have sensitive hearing, and so noises that you might miss can potentially be caught by a pet. Just be sure to give them enough free reign around the house at night that they can detect these issues, but only if they’re potty trained.
Good training is a must if purchasing a dog for this reason. They must know the difference between playing and real fighting, and also know the difference between those with bad intentions on your property, or the postman and milkman.
Children can feel comfortable around pets, but only if you bring them around the household to begin with. A fear of dogs is not that uncommon, and it’s usually spawned in those who didn’t have the good fortunate to interact with a pet like this during their childhood. Unfortunately, it’s not hard to see why this might be upsetting for someone. Dogs can be wild bundles of energy.
If you hope for your children to not only feel comfortable around these pets, but to also potentially raise their own one day, it might be worth introducing one into the household now. You needn’t purchase the largest and most high-maintenance of dogs, but it can certainly be worth it to ensure your children know how to interact with them, and are able to form a bond.
Bonding with a dog is quite unlike anything else. You know when you’ve done it. You know when an animal loves you, and when you share that mutual sense of comfort with one another. If nothing else, this is tremendously healthy for both pet and child to form this bond. Your child will likely cherish the memories of this pet for some time, perhaps even picking up the same breed later on in life. There might not be any grand design in having your child bond with a pet other than the comforting and rewarding enjoyment they get from this. To us, that’s more than reason enough to consider a pet, provided your household is supported to do so.
While we haven’t any research to prove this, it’s almost blinding common sense to think that those who abuse animals likely didn’t grow up in a healthy relationship with them during childhood. Of course, this might not be true, nor does it mean that in a household without any pets does a child become a psychopath unfit to take care of their own pets some day.
However, having a pet around the house can surely embed an understanding in your child of how they are to be treated, and what differentiates a good pet owner from a bad one. For example, following this pet safety guide is sure to curate a household conducive to holding pets, and your child is sure to replicate that, contribute to your current household, or generally become responsible through caring for your current pet.
Anyone who decries the fact that a friendship can be formed with a dog simply hasn’t become close to one. That’s it. Dog’s are known as man’s best friend for a reason, and they should be regarded as such. That is to say that a pet is often as good as their owner, so if you ensure that your pet is well groomed, well trained and well loved, you and your children will have a friend and family member for the rest of his or her lifetime. This, in itself, is extremely nurturing for all around. You might have mini-familial fallouts with certain siblings, or your children might do the same, but you can be sure that everyone in that family unit will have nothing but unconditional love for that dog. To us, that’s a special thing.
Pets require maintenance. They require care. One pet might require more or less than another, and it might be that you’re not the most organized person in the world, but you can be certain that your pets can help you become one. This is the perfect vehicle to teach discipline, reliability and care as values in your children. For example, asking your children to help walk the dog, or to pick up the messes in the garden, or to clean their bed, or to feed them regularly and keep the water levels topped up can ensure that the pets are well looked after and catered for, and that your child learns the vital responsibility of caring for something beyond themselves. This can be a much more evocative means of discipline for them, because household chores are important, but aren’t perhaps as easy to do with passion as looking after the household dog. This might not be the main reason you purchase a dog for your children, but it could be one of them.
With these tips, you’ll likely have your priorities calibrated when introducing your dog to the household.