When it comes to looking after your family you can often think about outside aspects influencing them, their schooling, their friends perhaps, but also the many benefits there are to having some sort of pet in the family. Some might say it isn’t compatible with their family life, and that can be a real stumbling block in the decision-making process. You need to be able to ensure that the dog is not left on their own for too long and that everyone takes an active role in the responsibility for the pet.
But, there are some fantastic benefits the whole family can get on board with. It can often be a huge learning curve for you, and you may start to see the benefits and the major impacts that a pet dog could have on your life, and it could certainly be a great addition to the family. However, there are things that you need to think about when it comes to owning a dog, and having one as part of your family. With that in mind, here are some of the things that you can think about ahead of making the decision to add a pet to your family.
What sort of dog would suit your family?
One of the first things to think about when it comes to a pet dog with the family is to decide what sort of dog would suit the family dynamics that you have. There are many different options that you could consider. You may want to look at puppies for sale locally and see if you could invest in a Labrador puppy or something similar that you have your eye on. A chocolate lab is often one of the first suggestions people have when it comes to dogs. However, smaller dogs can also be more of a fit with your family and require less energy and attention. This is when you may need to explore different breeds and their natures, to ensure that you invest in the right dog for you. Another thing to suggest would be to look at rehoming an older dog. If you don’t want to stress and worry about having to train a dog to even know where to relieve themselves then an older dog could be right up your street. There may be a local animal shelter that you could attend and discuss your needs with. This is the one thing that requires some serious thought before you make the commitment.
Can a dog fit your current lifestyle?
Another thing to suggest would be whether or not a dog could slot into your current lifestyle. One thing to think about would be your work commitments and how long you spend away from home at any one time. It isn’t fair to leave a dog on their own for long periods of time anyway, but you also need to factor in if that is something that is more common than not when it comes to the lifestyle that you lead. Can it be changed? Can you change your hours or be more flexible such as working from home? You might also need to think about how you spend your weekends. Are you away a lot, can a dog come with you? These questions are often afterthoughts or asked of when you have a dog and find yourself in a predicament of not knowing how to continue taking care of it when you have commitments yourself. However, a dog can be the perfect reason to make some changes to your lifestyle, not only to accommodate their needs but to also give you a better quality of life.
It could encourage you to be more active
There is no denying that one major thing a dog does need is regular exercise, every day in fact. This means that as a responsible owner, you will need to provide that. A dog, depending on its breed and its size, will require varying amounts of exercise, and so you need to consider how you may incorporate that into your current lifestyle. As a family, you could choose to go on some of the walks together. It encourages younger children to be more active, and perhaps it will entice older children to step away from the games and technology and spend some time outside. As an adult, regular exercise each day is going to increase your energy levels, your mood, and could help combat mental health issues like stress, anxiety or even depression. It may feel like a significant commitment, but from a health perspective, it could certainly change your lifestyle for the better.
Companionship for you when you are on your own
It could be that you spend a great deal of time on your own. Perhaps you are a stay at home parent, with all children in school now. Maybe your partner works away and once the children are in bed it is just you. This is when a dog can add tremendous companionship for those times when you need it. Even just having something else in the house with you can help you to feel safe and secure, at times when you may need to have someone around. It could be the ideal way to help you through a tough time as well. There is such power in having responsibility for something else, especially if your mindset isn’t where it needs to be.
What will happen when you go away?
Another thing that we have briefly explained but one that needs consideration before a dog is your holidays and when you go away. We may have mentioned making decisions based on work commitments and weekends away, but most families will have an annual trip somewhere. Can a dog tag along with that? Will they require extra care or the use of another facility like a dog kennel or hotel where they can stay? You will also need to factor in the extra costs for this.
It teaches responsibility
Responsibly comes with dog ownership, and so often this can be left to one person to manage. But this should not be the case. This is the perfect chance ton delegate jobs and makes the pet dog [part of the family, and not just the responsibility of one person. It also gives you the chance to teach your children responsibility in many different ways. Of course, a dog will need feeding regularly, it will also need water and regular exercise, and these sorts of things could be delegated as jobs to help teach your children about responsible for something other than themselves. However, a dog may also need treatment, perhaps they develop an illness, or they become unwell in some way, and this teaches you responsibility to look out for the signs and also be open-minded to different treatments to get them well again.
It helps your child to experience different emotions
Finally, the one thing that can be difficult to teach to children yourself is dealing with an array of emotions. Children, young adults, even yourself, may experience different feelings but not know how to channel them or handle the situation. A pet dog can help you with that. You deal with empathy, responsibility, sadness, joy and happiness, all sorts of emotions during the ownership of a pet dog, which can help your children to become more diverse in different situations in the future.
Let’s hope that these tips help you to decide on whether a pet dog is right for you and your family.