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Kids and Dogs - Are You Ready To Have A Dog

If you are reading these lines, your kid is obviously insisting on buying him or her a dog for a while. Should you give in or should you simply say no and try to buy your kid off with a cool toy? And what is on dogs that makes kids so crazy about them in the first place? It is hard to say why kids get so obsessed with an idea of having a dog because it is not just your kid. Just about all kids feel that they lives are incomplete without a dog. Partly, this is due to the fact that kids naturally love animals but it is partly also a result of an idealized image of animals. They believe that all dogs are like Lassie, Beethoven or other “dog movie stars“ and if they by chance have a friend who has a dog and keeps on telling them how great it is to have a dog, it all perfectly makes sense. But is your kid ready for a dog ? He or she will of course promise you everything - to feed him, walk him and even to pick after him. But let’s be honest. Kids are not capable of taking care of a dog all by themselves. The question therefore is not if your kid is ready for a dog but are you ready?

Having a dog is a great responsibility and your kid should be aware of it. Although you cannot expect from your kid to take care of everything, you should make clear that you will not take over if he or she suddenly decides that having a dog is not as cool as he or she thought it will be. Make sure that your kid understands that not all dogs are like Lassie and Beethoven, and that they need training, lots of care and lots of attention. If you think that your kid is aware what having a dog really means and still insists on having one, you should perhaps consider fulfilling his or her wish but be prepared to help by teaching him or her how a dog should be treated, how to groom him, how to walk him, how to play with him, etc. Make sure that your kid takes responsibility for the dog but do not let him or her alone with the dog until the two of them properly meet each other and until your kid learns how to handle a dog. But before that, you will need to pick a dog that will be compatible with your kid.

If your kid dreams about having a dog, he or she most likely also dreams about a particular breed. However, this is where you should be very careful because not all breeds go well with kids. Fortunately, most kids are prepared to make a compromise when it comes to breeds and are happy as long it is a dog. Take plenty of time for research about kid-friendly dog breeds but allow your kid to have a say in the selection of the breed.