Adopting the first family pet is no small undertaking. It is a decision that should be very well researched and thought out, and carefully considered by your entire family and not just the “primary” pet owner. If you are adopting a young pet, you are making a decision that will impact your family anywhere from a ten to fifteen-year period.
Here are some considerations you definitely should take into account before you decide to adopt.
How Old Are The Members Of Your Family?
If you have children in your household that are under the age of seven, unless they are very calm, even-keeled children, they may not be old enough for puppies. Puppies have very sharp “milk teeth” and they are known to want to teethe on hands. This can result in an unintentional injury to your child and end up making your puppy someone your child fears rather than loves.
Instead, consider a medium to a large-sized dog that is over 5 months old. At this size and age, a dog such as this tends to be a much safer choice for small children. While this may be the case, it is important to point out that when your small children interact with your dog, you always need to keep an eye on their interactions. If you cannot stay close by to keep a watchful eye, it may be best for you to consider temporarily separating them until such a time that you can observe them.
On the flip side, if you have an elderly person living in your household. It is best to avoid adopting large dogs that still have a lot of “puppy” behaviors in them as this presents the risk of a broken hip or arm should the dog get excited and knock your elderly family member over. In this case, you want to pick a breed and size of dog that your family member would be able to easily handle.
Who Is Going To Take Care Of Your Dog?
With many families having two working parents, this is a very important question to ask. If you live in a household where both parents work and the kids are in school all day, this leads to the potential of your dog being neglected. Because of this, even if you have to go to work every day, it is important that one parent take responsibility to ensure the dog’s basic needs are always being met and never forgotten.
While it might be easy to delegate dog caregiving duties to your children, the truth is that even though they may swear on everything sacred that they will always take care of their new furry buddy, over time there’s a good change that they are going to start to “slide” on these responsibilities. The truth is you just can’t saddle your child with total responsibility for your new dog. So if there isn’t an adult that is willing to step in and be the primary caregiver of your new dog, you may not be ready to adopt a family pet yet.
How Are You Going To Make Your Dog Comfortable In Its New Home?
Just as having a dog join your family is a big transition for you and your family members, it’s equally as big, if not bigger, for your dog. Because of this, you have to take extra steps to ensure your dog is as comfortable as possible.
One important thing to consider is where your dog’s “personal space” is going to be. Just like every person in your family has their bedroom, your dog also needs a space they can go to for a break from the commotion in your house, to sleep overnight or to just snuggle up and feel comfortable. Choosing an area where you will put a crate, or a playpen could be a great option for your dog.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that every dog has a different personality and likes different things. There truly is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to how to care for a dog. As a result, you need to avoid the temptation to buy your dog tons of toys and treats right in the beginning, until you figure out what they prefer. Start slowly with the basics. For instance, you may realize that your dog doesn’t like a particular type of treat, or destroys plush toys instantly. Take your time and get to know your dog so you can make informed decisions.
Taking the time to do the research and giving consideration to the tips in this article will ensure you and your family make the right choice about whether to adopt a new member.
If you do choose to adopt (congratulations!), Pet Pro Supply Co. can provide some great equipment to help you welcome your new pet. Check out some of our collections here on the site!