"Mummy, I want a dog"
You knew this day would come … the dreaded question of “Can we get a dog?”. Adding a pet into your lifestyle is a big decision for your family. Before giving in with a “yes” or jumping to a quick “no,” it’s best to consider all factors to weigh up your options.
The Pros (Positives):
Doggos offer great companionship and loyalty. From a young age, a child recognises companionship and attention. With appropriate dog training and supervision, even babies and toddlers will be able to establish a connection with them. Dogs often show unconditional love and loyalty to their owners and provide children with security. The saying goes, "A man's best friend" for a reason, hey? Dogs make great friends and have even been proven to reduce anxiety in young children.
Not only are dogs great companions, but they also teach children responsibility. Children must learn to care after their furry friend and understand what it is to nurture something. Whether it be feeding them or grooming them, the children can learn the skill of responsibility whilst helping to look after the pet.
Puppers require regular exercise and need lots of play time. Although this could be seen as a negative, it does encourage children to be active. Whether it be chasing them in the backyard or going on family walks, the dogs have to be exercised and this can be a great way to implement activity in to your family routine.
The Cons (Negatives):
A big thing to consider before anything is if you have the space for a dog. A smaller dog or puppy may require less physical space but will have more energy. As you can imagine, a larger dog takes up heaps of space and will need more space indoors and outdoors. Whether it be a small or large dog, the best situation for them involves a fenced in backyard where they can do their business and run around. If you don’t have access to a backyard, they would require several walks a day on a leash for bathroom breaks and to get exercise. While they can live without a fenced in backyard, it isn’t fair to them to be tethered to a leash every time they go outside.
Dogs can cause a bit of damage to the old bank account. Between supplies and toys, food, veterinarian bills and grooming, adding a dog to the family is essentially adding another family member. There are some one-time expenses but where it adds up is the recurring costs that you have to pay. Pet insurance is a non-negotiable in our family and has saved us a lot of $$$.
In the same way a child does, dogs require patience, love and a LOT of attention. They’ll need daily feeding and exercise, have to be housebroken and trained, and will need frequent grooming and vet visits. Along with your personal time, you'll have to consider who will look after the dog if you go on holiday and how much it might cost. You have to think about who will care for the dog while you’re at work and the kids are at school or who will care for the dog once your child goes off to university (hint: it will probably be you).
Getting a dog is a lot of responsibility and there are many things to consider. If your child has their heart set on a floofer, they need to understand the responsibilities and everything that is required to look after a pet. If you’re still unsure about whether or not to get a dog, it’s best to wait and give it time to ensure that you are prepared and truly comfortable with your decision. If your family is ready for the challenge, getting a doggo can be one of the best, most rewarding decisions you can make.
If you decide your family is ready for a fluffy companion, consider adopting from your local shelter. There are so many beautiful dogs just waiting for their fur-ever home.