Dogs are pretty much the ultimate pet for kids as well as adults. As mentioned earlier, all dogs descend from wolves which are the only wild animal that will cohabit with man. Dogs are a pack animal and rely heavily on socialization. It is criminal to leave a dog alone for long periods of time as they are not solitary hunters. Dogs hunt in packs and rely on companionship to live.
Most kids will beg for a dog at least once in their lives. A dog is the ideal pet for kids and can teach you a lot about the world as well as yourself. Dogs rely on routine and have the mentality of a two-year-old. They love unconditionally and only want to please you. Besides the love you give to your child, there is no better way to demonstrate this emotion than by giving your child a dog.
Dogs are quite a bit of work, particularly if you are planning on getting a puppy. A puppy will get into everything. They like to chew and will go after shoes and anything else they can get their little paws on. They can be quite destructive.
Puppies also take quite some time to be housebroken. A puppy cannot be expected to be fully trained until he or she is about one year old. Prior to that time, a puppy simply cannot control himself in order to wait to go outside. Expecting a small puppy to be trained is like expecting a small child to be trained. You have to have patience when getting a small puppy.
This does not mean that you have to allow the puppy to run riot all over the house, destroying carpeting and furniture. Dogs like having their own “den.” This is a sense of security for a dog and your puppy will not mind being crated when you are not watching him or her. You can keep your puppy in a crate at night so he or she does not have any accidents. During the day, you can use a baby gate to keep the puppy in an area where it can be confined without doing damage. Many people choose to keep the puppy in the kitchen as the floor is usually tile or linoleum and easy to clean in case there is an accident.
Young children cannot be expected to train a puppy; this feat is difficult for most adults. Young children can be taught how to play with the puppy and also how to feed the animal. Unlike cats, a dog will eat until it bursts. You have to feed a dog a few times a day and you should do this on a set schedule. This will allow the dog to become accustomed to eating at a certain time and will also regulate his or her bowels. The trick to having harmony with a dog in the house is routine.
While young children can be taught how to feed the dog, older children can learn how to pick up after accidents and also how to give the dog a bath. Unlike cats, dogs require a bath now and then to keep them from smelling. Most dogs hate baths, but it is necessary unless you want your dog to stink to high heaven. If the dog is small, your children should have no trouble at all giving the dog a bath. They have to make sure that the water is at room temperature and that doggie shampoo is used on the fur. After the dog gets out of the tub, he or she will want to shake to remove all of the water. He can then be towel dried. You can even use a hairdryer on the dog, which he or she will probably like.
Another chore that the children can participate in when it comes to caring for the dog is brushing the dog. Dogs should be brushed to keep their coats looking good. It will also keep the dog clean and remove any excess hair that will be shed all over the house. Dogs with longer hair should be brushed more often than those with short hair. Dogs generally like being brushed, as they like the attention, and should sit fine for the kids to brush him or her.
Taking the dog for a walk is yet another chore that the kids can do. A walk should be done in the morning and the evening as part of the dog’s routine. It also gets to be part of the routine of everyone in the household. Although this is work, this can really be a blessing. Many people today are so stressed out because there is “so much to do.” This includes even young school kids. Having a dog and walking it at the same time every day brings some order into an otherwise un-orderly life and can really improve life for the family by alleviating some stress. Everyone begins to expect the routine of walking the dog and it becomes second nature.
Walking, brushing, feeding and bathing are all things that children can do to help take care of the dog. When it comes to playing with the dog, you will not have to ask the children to do this. The dog and the children will get along famously and play together all of the time.
The type of play will depend on the type of dog. Most dogs love going out into the yard with the kids and running around. Kids can throw the ball to the dog and teach him or her to catch it. Larger dogs who are used to cold weather will enjoy going out in the snow and playing with the kids. If you have a fenced-in yard, the dog and the kids can play together happily for hours.
Dogs can be very protective of children. Some dogs will look at the children as their “charges” and treat them accordingly. Your children are a bit safer if they are at the park with their dog than if they are at the park alone. Many predators are wary of dogs and dogs seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out danger. This is not to say that you should leave your young children at the park alone with the dog as their sole protection, but that the dog is an extra added protective layer for your children, and for you. People who want to do another person harm are less likely to approach someone who has a dog.
Your dog will require a lot of vet care as well. In some municipalities, you may have to register the dog with the city. It will have a license number and in case the dog gets lost, you have a better chance of getting the dog returned. The license number is a way to track down the owner in case the dog bites someone. If your dog gets loose and bites someone, you will have to provide proof of rabies vaccination or the dog will be destroyed. If the dog bites someone in an unprovoked attack, you are better off getting rid of the animal, especially if you have children.
Most dogs, although they are predators, will not bite unless threatened and rarely attack those with whom they live. A dog may, however, use their mouth as a way to lead you somewhere. They may try to grab your hand, using their mouth, to pull you to see something. If your dog does this, follow him or her as chances are that you need to see whatever it is the dog wants to show you. There have been countless cases of people being saved by their dogs who led another person to save them.
Children who have dogs in the family are most likely to spend more time playing with the dog than watching television. The dog can also go with the family on different outings. There are several chain pet stores that allow dogs in the store and this can be a treat for both the kids as well as your dog.
Dogs are not born to know how to walk properly on a leash. Most dogs will pull at a leash and have the urge to take off. If you have small children, it may seem as the dog is taking them for a walk, rather than the other way around. You can take your children with you when you take your dog to obedience school. Here, you can learn how to teach the dog to walk on the lead as well as other simple commands, such as sit, or lay down. This can be a great activity for the entire family.
Dogs can be trained to do a number of things and make very loyal pets. They do require work and patience, however, and are not for people who do not want to take the time to teach the dog to behave. If you do decide to take the time for a dog, expect your life to slow down a bit. Realize that you will have to adhere to some sort of routine. For most people, this can be a way for the family to re-connect. A dog is an ultimate pet for children as well as adults.