Although there is no one right age for a child to get his or her first pet, there are signs to pay attention to let you know that yours are ready for the responsibility. Before you choose a pet and make that all-important first appointment at the animal hospital, see if you recognize these signs that your kids are ready for a pet.
They behave appropriately around other people’s animals.
How do your kids act when you visit friends or family that have pets? Do they pet the animal, play with him or her, and help out in an age-appropriate way when given the opportunity to assist with feedings or walks? If so, then your kids could be ready to have a pet around full-time. On the other hand, if your kids yank tails, chase a nervous animal around, or are scared of the pet, then you may need to wait a little longer before making an animal part of your family.
They help around the house.
Having a pet is an enormous responsibility. They also offer a great opportunity for your kids to learn from sharing that responsibility with you. They may be ready to take on the extra work of having a pet if they already pitch in around the house. If they are reliable about completing their chores and don’t complain when you ask for an extra hand, then it could be a sign you can count on them to walk the dog, feed the cat, and otherwise take an active role in caring for the animal.
They have time in their schedules.
Some kids are so involved in so many activities that they don’t realistically have time to devote to an animal. Your kids should have enough free time each day that that they can spend some of it socializing with the pet, contributing to taking care of the pet, and helping with duties like feeding, walking, grooming and so on.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we love to help families get their new pets off to a healthy start, with wellness exams, vaccinations, and cat and dog spaying and neutering services. After your family adopts a new animal, make an appointment at one of our veterinary hospitals in the metroplex by dialing (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or dialing (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area of Texas.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we are committed to helping our community help animals get the love and care they need. Our Life Guardianship Trust for pets is designed to meet this goal. Through the generous donations of our clients and other animal lovers in Dallas and McKinney, our veterinary hospital is able to provide much-needed care to animals in crisis.
The money in the Life Guardianship Trust is used to provide veterinarian services to homeless pets and wildlife and to help families whose pets need critical care that they cannot afford. The fund is also used to improve the quality of care we provide to our clients. We invite pet lovers to contribute to the fund at any time.
Finding out more about the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group and the services at our veterinary clinics in Dallas and McKinney is super easy. Simply call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney, for more information.
Choosing a Family-Friendly Dog Breed
When your family decides to bring home a puppy, it is important to consider the breed carefully. Not all dogs are suited to life in a bustling household with kids, so both your family and your new puppy will all be happier if you pick the right breed for your particular living situation. If you need help, talk to the pros at your local animal hospital. They can give you insight into the personality of the different breeds and the amount of veterinarian care different breeds need, so you can make an informed decision. As you consider your options, keep these points in mind.
Consider Sporting Breeds and Working Breeds
Dogs that fall into these categories tend to be good family pets, because they have been bred to work beside humans. They are usually highly trainable and eager to please, so they are good additions to families, especially ones that include young children. Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers fall into this category. Herding breeds, which include collies and German shepherds, are also very trainable, which makes them good family pets.
Make Sure the Size Measures Up
It may seem counterintuitive, but most experts recommend that families with small children get larger dogs. Small children very frequently step on dogs’ paws or grab them in ways that can be painful. Among small dogs, these kinds of incidents are more likely to cause injury, which can make the dog lash out against the child or bite. Larger dogs are better able to tolerate this kind of interaction. Because it doesn’t hurt them as much, they are more patient. If you think your children could be tugging ears or grabbing tails, a large breed could be the best pick.
Match Your Activity Levels
Dogs that have been bred to work have a lot of energy that needs to be released through exercise and play, and if it isn’t they may become unhappy and destructive. If your kids are small and will be home to play with your pup, this can be a good fit. If your family is away from the house all day, choose a more mellow breed, like a pug, who is happy to sit and nap while you’re away.
Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is here to offer all the advice you need on choosing and caring for a puppy, including dog neutering, vaccinations, and pet grooming. To schedule a consultation at our Animal Hospital in McKinney, please call (972) 529-5033, or, for our Hospital in North Dallas, please call (972) 239-1309.
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