by: Anonymous
Wednesday 13th , 2012
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421 It will only be a matter of time before your child comes to you and asks “Can I have a dog?”  Adding a dog to your family can be such a rewarding and life changing experience.  A dog is an instant playmate, a loyal companion, a guardian and friend and a lifetime commitment.

Before you get a dog you should find out what your child can handle when it comes to pets.  You and your children should understand that owning a dog is a family project and everyone has to abide by the same ground rules and play whatever parts they can handle.

No matter what the age of your child, make it a habit to include him/her in as many dog activities as possible.  Have them help you pour the food /water into the dogs dish, include them in taking the dog out for a walk, brushing their hair etc.  At this time you and your family should ask yourselves the following….

  • Why do you want a dog? This is a great way to find out if reasoning of why your child wants a dog.
  • Are you ready for a 10 to 15 year commitment? This new addition to your family will require an investment of time and money.
  • Is your family ready for time and resources a dog needs? All dogs need daily exercise, affection, socialization and regular grooming and vet care.
  • Will you be able to spend quality time with your dog? Dogs are pack animals by nature and love will thrive to be part your family. They don’t do well if they are left alone for very long periods of time your dog may develop behavioral issues. Because of this if you and your family do a lot of traveling or spend/work 10hrs a day you should plan in including your dog on the trip or unfortunately it may not be the right time to add a dog to your family.
  • Is your family willing to train your dog together? The lack of training is one of the most common reasons that owners surrender their dogs to shelters. If your family has a training plan ready where you are doing the same signals and commands it will better help your dog understand rules and what your expect of them.
419 If the answers to all of these questions are yes, then you’re ready for the next step RESEARCH.  By researching dog breeds you can assure the right and loving companion for your family.  Consult your local Veterinarian, they can provide behavior and temperament as well as medical problems that you can run into with certain breeds. Visits your local shelter which can also give you useful information on breeds and may even introduce you to dogs that are great with children that they have available for adoption.  In that note your family should consider adoption; many unwanted adult dogs and puppies have been abandoned or given up to animal shelters or breed rescue groups.  Adopting a pet from one of these facilities is a rewarding gesture that you and your children can do together.  Visit our friends at the Pasadena Humane Society in Pasadena to see what amazing dogs they have available for adoption.
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Also, on Sunday, September 2nd your child can be part of Banfield Pet Hospital’s Future Vet Camp where you will learn more about how to take good care of your pet, pet healthcare and veterinary medicine through fun activities led by a real Veterinarian and even meet some awesome dogs!

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Blog Entry by:

Yessica Flores, Live Collections & Outreach Specialist, has been with Kidspace for six years. After graduating from North Hollywood High School’s Zoo Magnet, she volunteered and worked for over eight years with zoo keepers and the education department at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.