When a family decides to adopt a puppy, there’s typically nobody happier than the kids. They’ll likely spend summers playing into the evening and school breaks ruining leaf piles. Before your kids can start making memories, however, they need to be prepared for the challenges and responsibilities that come with raising a pet. You can help prepare kids for a puppy ahead of time to ensure a smooth transition once they’re introduced.
Teach Them the Dos and Don’ts
Puppies can be balls of energy, and, like children, this can be a destructive force. You’re wise to set boundaries on where and when your kids can play with a puppy, and even how they play. Too much roughhousing may undo the progress you make trying to train your dog and could make him rambunctious. When preparing your kids for a puppy, set out clear rules before it comes to your home. These might include avoiding the bed as a playing area, staying off the furniture and keeping certain rugs free of fur or dirt.
Assign Chores Ahead of Time
Having a pet isn’t all fun and games. Cleaning up poo, taking the puppy for a walk, feeding it, giving it baths and grooming it are all intrinsic parts of pet ownership that everyone, including kids, must take part in. Setting aside how valuable this might be for bonding, it also helps to take the load off of tired and burned-out parents.
Assign chores based on your child’s age. Younger children might be able to help pick up after the dog and groom it, while older children can take it for walks and to the vet for checkups. Consider creating a schedule and dividing the chores up for every family member. Every couple of days a different person can handle the basic tasks, and everyone can help out with larger chores, like bathing.
Have Hands-On Training Sessions
If you plan to bring your puppy to a training class or hire a trainer, have your entire family participate. After all, your kids will need to control your puppy’s unruly behavior and it will need to learn to be obedient. Get them involved and ask the trainer to teach them as you learn. Follow through at home with exercises and practice. If your kids are disinterested or inconsistent, create a rewards system that motivates them to train the puppy and keep attending training sessions.
Adopting a puppy is a rewarding venture for the whole family. While parents are likely excited and happy to have such an energetic addition to the family, children are often the most thrilled at the adoption of a new pet. Of course, preparing kids for a puppy is an important step in the process, and getting them ready can make the process much less stressful. You can avoid even more stress by adopting your new puppy from a reputable source. At Pride and Prejudoodles, we connect you with the best puppies, hand-picked by our team. For more information on adopting a furry friend, contact us!