Dogs and Children

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While your children may love animals on classic Disney movies, this is not a good way to choose a family pet. Getting a family dog is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. You want a dog that has a good temperament with your children to avoid accidents. Different family dynamics can dictate different needs when it comes to choosing a dog. Take all of your wants and needs into consideration and do your homework on breeds before making a choice.

Is everyone on board with the decision to get a dog? This is an important decision that will impact everyone in the household. Weigh the pros and cons of getting a new family pet. Getting a pet can be good for children. In fact, a study in the Pediatrics journal shows that children who live with a dog or cat during their first year are more likely to be healthier compared to children who do not live with a dog, particularly in regards to developing resistance to respiratory illnesses during childhood.

Do your homework on dog breeds. You want to choose a breed that fits well with your family dynamics. Some popular breeds that are known to be include Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers, beagles, bull dogs, collies, bull terriers, Newfoundlands, vizslas, Irish setters, and poodles. There are many breeds out there that could be a good fit. This is not even considering mixed breeds. If you choose to rescue a dog, you can bring the family to meet and spend time with different dogs to see if it will be a good fit. Many animal shelters do temperament testing on dogs so you can see how they react in different situations to get an idea of how they will be. Take into consideration that many rescue dogs come from bad situations and may need some extra training and TLC.

Teach your family dog safety. There are risks with any dog, but teaching your children some important lessons can help prevent an accident from occurring. An example of a lesson to go over with your child before bringing the new dog home would be not to eat close to dogs or wave food around, as this may temp the dog into trying to get the food or thinking it is a game. This also applies to how your children interact with other dogs as well, such as coming across dogs being walked. If your child does become injured by someone’s dog, you should consult a legal professional such as Plan ahead on what course of action to take should your child be bitten by a strange dog, particularly if you can’t verify whether or not the dog has been vaccinated.


*This is a Guest Post written by Becky W.

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