What You Need to Know Before Bringing A New Dog Into the Family

After years of asking and begging, you ultimately agreed to allow your kids to have a pet which will complete the family. Prior to you rushing out and buying the first dog that melts your heart with its puppy dog eyes, there are a few things you need to know. It’s essential that you do some research first and decide which breed would best suit your family before you go head strong into the pet stores or shelters. A great tip for finding the ideal breed that will be best suited for your family is to look at several types of dogs and their characteristics and have a family meeting to discuss the pros and cons of each one so that everyone can be in agreement of the type of breed you’re looking for before you head out on your search.

One important factor before making the decision to add a pet to your family is that most experts agree that children should be five years or older before bringing a new puppy into their lives. Prior to age 5, a child may not understand that a puppy needs loving gentle care and may not be able to appreciate the concept of playing nicely. The child could also be afraid of the new addition as well. A good way to determine how your child will respond to a new pet is to observe them around other people’s pets or by visiting a pet shop or shelter. How do they react upon seeing an animal? Do they appear hesitant or fearful? Are they timid but calm in their approach or are they aggressive by grabbing and lunging? It’s a good idea to become a constant little reminder of the rules your child needs to follow when playing with their new pet.

When you are confident enough that you’re ready for the next step, consider your families personality, lifestyle and time availability before bringing home a new dog. Does your family have many outside activities or interests or are you a group that stays around the house in your spare time? If both mom and dad work outside the home and the children are in school all day, how will you deal with the puppy being alone so much? What type of arrangement would you be willing to do to ensure you will have a happy, healthy puppy in your absence? Would you consider taking them to a doggy daycare or make arrangements for a sitter during the day while everyone is away? Before choosing a particular breed, take into consideration the size, energy level and playfulness of the breed. Is your family active and full of energy or do you enjoy doing quiet, non-exertive activities together? If knowing that your dog requires a great deal of exercise, would the family be able to step up and provide that kind of stimulation for a new pet?

Perhaps you already have a pet and you are considering a second one to have companionship for your first one? You might consider an older dog from the local animal shelter. You would not only feel a great satisfaction of saving an animal’s life but a lot of shelter animals make some of the best pets because of their age and established personality. Many local shelters provide a program that involves holding pre-adoption meetings to help ensure that your family and the new chosen addition are compatible before making that final decision. Always remember that not all dogs will fall instantly in love with you at first meeting so be calm, patient and understanding and you will undoubtedly find the perfect pet for your family.