Pretty much all my daughter asks for these days is when are we going to get a dog? We’ve been dog-less for 4 years now. Right as I was 3 mths pregnant with my 2nd child my beloved 12-year-old yellow lab had to be put down. He was sick and there was nothing we could do for him. We grieved and then I had a baby and with 2 kids life got crazier. I saw no room for a dog. My daughter remembers our old dog and she wants one so badly. I think it’s easier to already have a dog when you have kids then to add one later on! Now that some time has passed and my little guy is 4 we’ve started having conversations about if we are ready to get a dog.
There are many reasons why we WANT to get a dog. I always had dogs/cats growing up and I learned a lot through them.
Responsibility: Animals have to eat. They have to get exercise and they need fresh water daily. This helps to teach responsibility for kids.
Love: You can’t deny the unconditional love pets give you. There just isn’t much like it.
Friendship: A dog can be your best friend. They are great listeners and will be there for you.
Loyalty: I love cats but dogs are extremely loyal. They know you are the master and will stay by you (if you get the right kind of dog, that is!)
I know that my kids would love a dog and have a great time. It’s just hard to say if/when that newness wears off and I worry about the time when they don’t want to care for it. I’m a working Mom, so I’m not home a lot during the day. A dog would have to be alone a lot of the time either in a kennel or loose in the house. Also, money is a huge factor. Healthy dogs cost money! Dogs eat a lot and dog food costs money. If the dog gets sick vet bills can make you go broke. I speak from experience!
These are all the things we are considering as we start our beginning stages of thinking about a dog. I want a dog also, but I want to make sure we are fully ready for the investment and commitment long term. Lucky for us, my parents are foster parents for DFW Lab Rescue. In the last 3 years, they have had over 40 dogs and found their forever homes for them. Recently they had puppies and we got to love and kiss on them all week long.
Do you have pets? How do your kids help out with the care of them?