How To Tell If Your Little Ones Are Ready For A Dog, According To Veterinarian Paula Bullock
Thinking about introducing a new pet into your home? While getting a dog is exciting, it’s important to first ensure that your kids are up to the responsibility of helping you care for a brand new canine family member. Check out Paula Bullock’s five indicators that your kiddos are up for the challenge of introducing a dog into your home.
- They understand that a puppy grows up.
Paula Bullock states that one of the key problems with dogs entering new homes is that they eventually grow up. If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s important that your kids understand that it will eventually grow into a dog – and it won’t be so little and cute anymore. Talk with your kids about the importance of sticking with a dog for the long haul, according to Paula Bullock.
- You can count on your kids to do their household chores – without reminders.
Can you rest assured knowing that your kids are going to put away their laundry, clean up after themselves, and do their homework without reminders? If so, it’s a good sign that you’ll be able to count on them to do their part when it comes to taking care of your new pet as well, according to Paula Bullock.
- They’re generally solid when it comes to following directions at school.
Paula Bullock recommends considering that responsibility crosses every facet of life, and if your kid is generally well-regarded by teachers and peers at school when it comes to responsibility, they’ll be likely to respond well to taking on a dog at home as well. If this isn’t a strength for your kid, you may want to use getting a dog as an incentive for improving school behaviors over the coming year, suggests Paula Bullock.
- They enjoy animals and are excited to welcome one into your home.
You may want a dog – but does your child? If your child is afraid of dogs or doesn’t enjoy animals, getting a new furry family member may not be a good fit for you right now, according to Paula Bullock. Rather, getting a pet can breed resentment, which can lead to your child not wanting to do their part to take care of the family pet.
- They know that taking care of their new dog may cut into other areas of life.
Lastly, make sure your child understands that getting a dog will change your family dynamic. It may mean earlier mornings, different considerations when you want to take a day trip, and prioritizing getting outside with your dog after dinner. While these changes can be fun, they can still require an adjustment period, especially from kids, says Paula Bullock.