Owning a dog can be a great learning experience, hopefully of course it won’t be too much of a learning experience, and before owning a dog you should feel prepared and take active measures to ensure your dog’s needs are catered for, and essentially that you know what you’re doing.
The challenges involved in dog ownership multiply when kids are involved. Owning a dog can teach children a lot, about things like commitment, responsibility and the natural world. However, dog ownership can also present various challenges for the younger generation.
As an adult it is your responsibility to make certain that the pets you allow your children to own are appropriate, and that your kids are well-behaved enough not only to own animals, but also to care for them properly.
Your children might have very specific needs. For instance, they may have dog allergies. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t own a dog, and there are hypo-allergenic puppies available. Or your children may have behavioural issues, and so dog ownership might be an unviable option.
You might think that certain breeds of dog are more child friendly than others. There may certainly be a grain of truth in this, however there are no hard and fast rules. Breeds that may have a reputation for being non-friendly with children may foster close bonds with your kids.
Instead, pets should be chosen based on the individuality of each animal. That is to say, it is the personality and behaviour of a dog that will make it suitable or not suitable for life with kids. Also, it’s not all about the dog, and you should factor in the specific needs of your kids when choosing their new pet.
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