I’ve been fortunate enough to have grown up with dogs. Our first dog came home when I was two years old, and since then, I’ve almost always had a furry companion.
Personally, I believe that dogs and children are a fabulous combination.
When you keep a dog at home, children learn to love animals, care for them and importantly, lose their fear of dogs. It also instills a sense of responsibility in them. I find it rather strange when parents warn their kids not to touch a dog because it will bite. I’m not saying that kids should go and pet every dog on the road, but parents too need to be aware that by saying such things, they are instilling fear in the minds of their children. Very often, this fear then persists into adulthood.
If you decide to bring a puppy home, take time to set down a few ground rules for your kids. They will be excited and many kids tend to see puppies as live playthings. The kids must learn to respect the pup and should never ever be allowed to beat him, kick him or harm him in any way. Also, kids should be discouraged from manhandling the pup. Of course, you need to ensure that your child doesn’t constantly hassle the dog by pulling its tail or ears!
Never allow kids to carry pups or take them for walks. If the pup is dropped, he could fracture his bones or, if on the road, could get run over or panic and run away and get lost. If your kid wants to take the pup for a walk, ensure that an adult accompanies them. Also, until you are confident about your child and your pup’s relationship, don’t leave them alone.
Kids and dogs make for a home filled with love and fun. If you’re planning on a furry companion, just go ahead!