Kids and Pets - Things to Consider before getting a Pet Dog

Kids love to have pets and some parents often consider getting their kids a pet dog as a companion and as a friend who they can play with. However, others are still hesitant about getting a pet dog since it’s a huge responsibility for any family. Family members not only have to take care of the dog, but they also have to know how to handle it properly. Here are some things to consider when taking care of pet dogs around kids.
Is the child old enough?

Parents need to make sure that their child is old enough to understand what the dog is and how to take care of it. If the child is still a toddler, it’s best not to expose or leave them alone with the dog. Younger children might end up pulling or pushing the dog, hurting them. The dog might also become aggressive and hurt the child. Parents need to supervise their children with the dog, even if they completely trust their pet. The best age for a child to have a pet dog is about around 8 years old or older. By this time, they can understand what they can and cannot do around the dog.

Health issues

As a rule of thumb, kids who suffer from allergies and asthma should not be exposed to dogs. The dog’s fur and dander might trigger respiratory problems.

On the flipside, some dogs also help heal. Many therapy dogs have help children with disabilities cope better. Dogs have also helped many children with cancer get better.

When it comes to pets and children, it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of a pediatrician. Parents should consult their doctors before getting a pet dog to assure that they won’t get sick because of their pet.

Their responsibility in taking care of their pets

Children should be more responsible before they are given pets. Parents usually assign their child to take care of their pets, such as making sure that it is fed, give it baths and more. Some parents who love their dogs very much also teach their kids about how to nurse their pets. Families who have dogs with degenerative myelopathy will need to understand how to take a little more care of the dog.

Are you ready to help them cope with separation?
Kids are very emotional. They value even the smallest things, especially in relationships with their pets. In cases where the dog becomes ill and passes on, kids might feel devastated and depressed. Slow progressing illnesses, like degenerative myelopathy, might need parents to make a decision to put the dog to sleep because of ethical reasons, and some kids do not really understand this concept yet. Parents have to be prepared in answering their children questions and helping them through the tough time.

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