Bringing a dog to your household can be a true blessing, as these wonderful animals can make us smile all the time, feel safe and loved, and even make us deal with less stress and anxiety. But we also need to take into account several factors before deciding to have a pet, as not all the members of our family might get along with a new animal.
Having a dog implies taking good care of the animal, such as taking it to the vet, vaccinating it, buying food all the time, and so on. You also need to look after your pet’s well-being, as a dog needs to be taken out for walks, have special toys at its disposal to play with, and so on.
Therefore, let’s see how you should bring a dog to your house if there are also children around:
Research and choose the right breed or mix
Dogs are different from breed to breed. In other words, different dog breeds have different needs, temperaments, and energy levels. This means that you must research breeds or mixes that are known for being good and gentle with children. You need to consider the activity level, size, and grooming requirements that fit well with the lifestyle of your family.
Prepare your home
You should also create a welcoming and safe environment for your new dog. You have to get rid of any items or hazards that could be harmful to both the children and your dog. It’s a good idea to set up a special place for your new canine friend with a comfortable bed, access to water, and toys.
Meet the needs of your dog
Dogs, such as all animals, have their needs, just like humans. In other words, don’t bring a dog into the house if you cannot meet its basic needs, such as providing the right nutrition, exercise, regular veterinary care, and socialization. Dogs will naturally thrive in environments where their mental and physical needs are met.
Teach your children about dogs
It’s crucial to educate your children about appropriate interactions with dogs, as the little ones need to approach the animal calmly and avoid gestures and behaviors that could be interpreted by the animal as threatening. In other words, it would be a mistake if the children start pulling the tail or ears of the new dog, for instance. The animal could attack them in such a situation. It’s also very important to respect the dog’s space.
There’s no need to have won the Emmy Award to figure out that it’s crucial to supervise the interactions between your dog and your children, especially when it comes to the initial introductions. Both the anima and the kids need time to get to know each other and establish a connection.
Teach basic commands
It’s also very important to teach the new dog basic commands such as stay, sit, and come. While this will help in managing the behavior of your dog, it will also enhance the safety of interactions with the little ones.
Establish consistent rules
You need to set consistent and clear rules for both the children and the animal. In other words, rules about playtime, feeding, and appropriate behavior are needed. If there is consistency, there will also be a predictable and stable environment for everyone.
Provide safe spaces
You need to make sure that the animal has access to safe spaces where it can relax and retreat if needed. You may never know when the situation can become too tense. At the same time, you need to teach the kids how to recognize when the dog needs a break and give it space when it is needed. If an animal gets cornered with no way out, it will have no choice but to attack, and you certainly don’t want that to happen.
It’s also a good idea to gradually introduce the dog to different areas of your house and to various family activities. Make your animal feel like it’s part of the family, as that’s always a good option when it comes to its well-being. At the same time, you don’t have to make the animal feel like it’s being forced to do something. Let the dog discover the household at its own pace.
Using positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior in both the children and the dog can also only be a good idea. What we mean by this is that you should reward the animal for its calm behavior around the children and praise the children for having respectful and gentle interactions with the dog.
Consult a professional
If you have the smallest uncertainty about introducing a dog into your family, you should consider consulting with a behaviorist or professional dog trainer. These people have what they need to provide guidance when it comes to the best practices for introducing a dog to a household with children.
You got the idea: bringing a dog into a household where children also live requires careful preparation, planning, as well as consideration for the well-being of both your new canine friend and the children.
Tommy’s hobby has always been playing video games. He enjoys competing in video games tournaments and writing about his experience. It’s not a big surprise that he mostly covers the latest trends from the gaming industry.