Many families to get a stage where the children start to want more responsibility or open you up to the idea of having a pet. At first you may dismiss the idea. After all, who ends up taking care of anything in the home, it’s usually the mama, am I right? However, there is something quite endearing about welcoming a pet to your home and one popular choice can be a dog.
It isn’t just as simple as getting a dog and bringing it home. You need to decide whether you want a puppy, or even whether you are prepared to rehome a dog from a shelter. There are many charities out there that are always hoping for families, perhaps like yours, who would happily adopt an older dog. Once you know the avenue you want to go down, you might want to consider some of the top tips below to help you through that transition period. But, in all seriousness, a pet dog could have a real positive effect on your life. What’s not to love?
Bringing a new pet home
First of all, bringing a new pet home may seem a little strange and you may not have a clue what to do. So the best bet is to prepare ahead of time. Think about where your pet dog will sleep, purchase the right beds and feeding supplies to ensure that they have all that they need. A puppy may need some extra settling in techniques, as they will have been used to being around their siblings. So a hot water bottle near their bed could help them feel more at ease. A dog from a shelter may like noise as that would have been what there were used to, so again you may want to think about leaving something on in the background to help with the transition.
Deciding on the name can be the fun part, but make sure you consider what it will be to help with your training at a later stage. Much like you would name a child, consider that this name is what you intend it to be for life, so be sensible with the choices. Of course, getting children involved can be a great idea at this stage to encourage bonding.
What to expect and how to prepare
There’s not much to prepare you for the change you will feel when you welcome a pet dog into the fold. They may keep you up the first few nights with cries and whimpers as they get used to the new surroundings, similar to a baby. It may feel like a new routine is needed to help with your dog, such as not leaving the house for long periods of time, etc. The best tip would be to prepare as much as you can in advance. Buy things that will need, consider the house rules you want to implement and be consistent from day one.
How it could help your kids learn
A pet can really help teach children a lot of things but one main lesson to be learned would be that of responsibility. Make sure that you get children involved with the day to day care of your new pet dog. This ensures that the chores won’t just be left to you. Designate jobs such as feeding and walking, even grooming and cleaning the beds to ensure that they start to realize that a living thing requires being taken care of. It can also help them handle emotions and learn to show empathy and care.
Training tips for even the most disobedient of dogs
One of the fun parts of having a pet dog can be the training side of things, although you may not share the fun in those beginning sessions. Learning to give commands to your dog may seem strange at first, but it is part of the journey to help your dog become obedient. You may want to focus on some of the basics like encouraging your dog to come back when called, being able to sit and lie down on demand. A great way to encourage this is through positive reinforcement and praise, and many trainers would agree that using treats as a reward is a great way to encourage dogs to continue learning. Stocking up on things like Betsy Farms duck jerky for dogs might be a good idea. The main thing to remember when training a dog is to be consistent. Use the same tone and words and even train at similar times so that the expectation for it is there.
The companionship and changing you as a person
There is something quite magical about owning a pet. For one, it can be great companionship. Being a parent can often feel a little lonely, especially when you are at home and the children are off learning in school, so you can find a great friend in the family dog, and they can certainly keep you company during the day. They can also be a great way to exercise daily as going out for a walk each day can be excellent for your well-being. The fresh air and the exercise, that is. Also, having a dog, much like when you become a parent, can really change you as a person. You can certainly be more open to your emotions and also be affected by things that happen. If you aren’t a parent already this could certainly be the biggest change you witness in yourself when you take on a family pet.
Could a pet help you prepare for parenthood?
Finally, if you aren’t already a mama then you may wonder if there is any way you can prepare for parenthood. Of course, nothing quite prepares you for that life-changing moment, but having a pet dog can certainly help to point you in the right direction. It enables you to think of something else other than yourself and can open you up to the whirlwind of emotions you might feel once you become a parent.
I hope these top tips help you when it comes to getting a family dog.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.