Have you decided that it is finally time to buy a dog for your kids? If so, you are in for a lot of fun adventures. Getting a dog for your family is a pretty big step, though. From training your new dog to choosing the right veterinary care, here are some ideas that might help your dog ownership go well.
Start With A Family Meeting - If you want your children to be responsible pet owners, start with a frank discussion about what this entails. Be sure to cover things like the fact that cleaning up dog messes is not a picnic, but it still has to be done. Ask your kids to visualize what it would be like to be really hungry or thirsty and not be able to get food or drink. That might help them to realize how important it is to be consistent about providing these essential nutrients for your new dog. It might be very helpful to have a chart that designates which child has which chore on given days.
Picking Up The Dog - Whether you are going to get your new dog at a shelter or at pet store, you'd be very wise to make that trip without the kids. Otherwise, you're going to be faced with them being sad at leaving behind the dogs that didn't get picked. The veterinarian will give the dog a thorough examination to make sure that it's in good health and, if there are problems, the vet will inform you of what a plan of action would be to get the dog in tip-top health. If you have gotten your dog at a shelter, it will have already had an examination and it will have already had its shots. In addition, your dog will already be spayed or neutered. And, if you have selected a dog at a shelter, your dog can have a free visit to a veterinarian for a follow-up consultation and to get the next set of shots.
Getting Started - Another good idea is to give the dog a name even before it reaches your front door. If you don't, think of the decisions that will need to be made and of the hurt feelings that may occur when a certain name isn't selected. Just say something like, "Rover is home and ready to meet you!" Then bring the dog in and quietly introduce him or her to all the kids. When it's time for your new dog to go to the animal hospital for a second visit and for follow-up shots, take the kids with you so they can get acquainted with your dog's doctor. At this time, ask the veterinarian to talk to your family about nutrition and the best treats for your dog. Find out how often you should bring the dog back for booster shots. Also, get an emergency number for the vet or for another doctor that your vet recommends that can be reached twenty-four hours a day every day of the year.
Don't forget to take lots of pictures! Contact a hospital, such as the Riverside Pet Hospital, for more information.