A dog is a great friend for a child, but having one also means a lot of responsibility. What to do when a child wants a dog, and parents are against such an idea because they see that it is still too early.
Thanks to a dog, a child can learn a lot about care and independence, he learns to take care of a living being, to put the needs of a pet above his own. Children who grow up with a dog are more sensitive, attentive and warmer to the world around them.
But it is important that the child realizes that the dog is not only a friend with whom to play, the pet must be fed, bathed, regularly walked with him and taken to the veterinarian. As a rule, it is difficult for children to imagine such a fact as daily walks with a dog in any weather and in any life circumstances.
When is a child ready for a dog?
Most parents start thinking about a pet when a child talks about their desire to have one, and determining exactly whether he can provide the pet with proper attention is quite difficult. Hence our recommendation is to use test checks. For example, to begin with, the child must grow a vegetable in the area allocated for him or show how he takes care of the plants in his room.
In addition, a few household chores can be highlighted, such as keeping mirrors or doorknobs clean. If the child shows that he is responsible and after a few weeks does not forget about the assignment, then we can talk about the readiness to care for the dog.
Parents often ask such a question as – at what age can a child get a dog. Speaking of very young children, three years is considered optimal, when the baby can already pour water, pour food into a bowl, in other words, help adults and take care.
However, even a three-year-old must pass a readiness test, since the understanding of responsibility must be nurtured from early childhood. Thus, we can say that after three years – age does not matter, what matters is how independent the child is and whether he knows how to keep promises without coercion.
The child asks for a dog – what to do? Try animal care at a shelter
If you’re not sure if your child can take care of a dog, try to negotiate with a shelter. Even in these places, you can build relationships with animals – play with dogs, walk them and feed them. You can even visit the shelter with the whole family to see the reaction of the child – how much he is interested in whether he gets tired of duties, it is enough to visit the animals twice a week.
There is a significant drawback in this method – some children do not like it when dozens of caged animals bark, howl or lie sadly there. It will be better if the child does not go into this room, but starts making new friends on the street.
Help your neighbors
Sometimes it’s enough to look around, maybe your neighbors will not refuse you a request to walk their dog or arrange temporary care while they are at work or on vacation. Especially thanks to such help pensioners. It will only take a few days and you will determine for sure whether the child is ready for a dog, whether he will be able to help you, or after a while he will begin to look for reasons and you will have to bear the responsibility only on yourself.
Benefits of a dog for child development
When you see a child caring without losing enthusiasm, it’s time to responsibly choose a beautiful puppy. Communication of a child with a dog has special advantages and you will not regret that you agreed to such a step. According to experts, the dog supports the development of non-verbal communication and has a positive effect on family life. Families are spending much more time together than before as dogs open up new opportunities for shared leisure time.
By handling a dog, children learn how to care for others. They learn that animals have other needs, they also develop patience, because animals do not always obey and selfishness is not possible here. A dog is a friend for children, whom you can rely on, she will calmly listen and calm the child in difficult times, acting as a personal psychotherapist.
Forbidding a child to have a dog unreasonably, you deprive him of many positive qualities of character. The choice of breeds today is so wide that it is not difficult to decide on it. It is enough to read specialized sites and forums or ask an expert for advice.