Jan 17, 2012

{Guest Post} Things To Keep In Mind Before Getting A Dog For Your Children

If your kids have asked for a puppy recently, you are probably not alone. It often seems as though, unless they are afraid of the animal, most children at some time or another want a pet dog. And parents who grew up with dogs or who like the idea of a furry friend regularly cave to these requests. It’s understandable. 

After all, there’s not too much to dislike. Dogs are cute and fun. They bring the family together and they can promote exercise among its members. And, of course, they are dependably loyal.

These considerations came to my mind in recent weeks when my kids began clamoring for a dog. At the time, I was busy researching cash rewards credit cards and absentmindedly agreed to think about the issue further when the kids ran into the den and make their request. It was only a few minutes later, just as I found the perfect credit card no foreign transaction fee, that I realized that my reply hadn’t closed the door on the issue. In fact, it had left that door wide open.
But the more I thought about it, the more the possibility of a pet dog intrigued me. Just like my kids, I had requested a dog as a child. My mom, however, never acquiesced and I grew up with goldfish and gerbils instead.

I decided to call my mom and discuss the issue with her. Specifically, I understood the appeal of a dog, but I wanted someone to provide the rational considerations one should make before diving in. My mom was the perfect person for the job. 

Here are the tips she gave during our conversation:

Consider the lifespan. Most dogs live for over ten years. How old will your children be then? Will they still want a dog? Will they even be living at home?

Prepare for the responsibility. Rain or shine, winter or summer, somebody needs to walk the dog on a daily basis. In most families, there ultimately ends up being one person who does most of the walks. Does your family have someone who can take that responsibility?

Anticipate the costs. Feeding and caring for a dog can easily cost over $1000 per year. This figure only increases if the family travels and the dog needs to be housed in a kennel for the week. Make sure you are ready to take on these costs.

My mom said that these considerations made it clear that getting a dog was not the right move for our family when I was younger. As for my children and my family today, I think they suggest that a pet dog may be more feasible. I’m going to have to think this one over some more and talk to my husband. But getting a furry addition to our household is a distinct possibility.

Just don’t tell my kids quite yet.

Guest Post provided by Becky W

1 comment:

  1. Our dogs has been a part of our family longer than the kids have, haha. My son calls him his "best friend" and doesn't like it when we get on to the dog.


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