Can we get a dog?
The question that most parents dread.
It usually happens when people would like to add to their family dynamic, or when the kids have reached an age where they love the idea of a new furry friend.
Getting a dog is a very big decision, however. There is a lot to consider, and a whole load of pros and cons.
We got our dog when I’d just experienced a miscarriage, our daughter had turned two years old, and we were about to embark on a year-long house renovation. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best time, but he gave us something that we needed at the time, and is now a large part of our family.
Here’s a few reminders of what you need to consider when making the decision of whether to get a dog.
Preparing for a dog
One of the first things that you need to think about when it comes to adding a dog to your family, is organising what they will need.
Think about where they will sleep and rest. You will probably need a dog bed or dog mattress, and a crate for puppy training.
How might their dietary requirements add to your weekly food budget? Or perhaps buying in bulk online through companies like Webbox might be the answer.
Depending on the breed of dog you choose, consider dog grooming, vets bills, and essentials such as leads, toys and poo bags.
Changes to your lifestyle
A dog can be the ideal way to transform yours and your families lifestyle for the better.
Every dog needs some form of regular exercise. Different breeds of dog will require different levels of exercise daily, so bare that in mind when you are considering which dog is best for you.
Although this walk may feel like an extra job to take on, it can be the motivation to get out and walk each day, even for a short period of time. By doing this, you will increase your activity levels and it can improve your overall fitness.
A dog is for life though, so think about how it could impact other areas of your life. Think about weekends away, working hours, or holidays as you’ll need to make arrangements for the dog to be cared for when you are away from the home.
Teaching responsibility by delegating jobs
A dog is an excellent opportunity to encourage taking on responsibilities for the whole family.
Delegate jobs and chores to do with the pet dog from the outset so that it’s not just left up to you. Things like feeding and changing water, and asking older children or young adults to do the walks. It can help to teach responsibility for something else and be an excellent skill for them to master.
Companionship for you all
Finally, there is no denying that a dog is man’s best friend. By adding a dog, the family gains a new dynamic.
A dog can provide companionship for children, can be a great source of therapy, and can also be a great combat for loneliness. The dog can become a friend to you all, and at some stage you will wonder how you ever lived without them.
Let’s hope these tips help you to make the big decision of whether a pet dog is right for your family.