Adding a dog to your family is a big decision – it needs to be fed, sheltered, trained, walked and loved. But for every bit of hard work you put forth, your new canine family member will repay you with love, adoration and loyalty.
You will need to make sure your schedule allows for time to spend outdoors, so the dog can exercise and do its business. If you choose to adopt a puppy, training will be essential each day in his or her early years. Consistency is key here.
The upside to these responsibilities is a caring family companion who will hopefully be with your family for a decade or more. Your children will carry precious memories of their new best friend for the rest of their lives and will learn how to care for another living being in the process.
Adopting a dog should be a family affair. If each person has a duty, like filling the food and water or taking a morning walk, your new dog will truly be a member of the whole family and not simply one person’s responsibility.
Likewise, rotate your duties among family members so no one person is always stuck with cleanup duty. (And don’t forget to have plenty of Bounty paper towels on hand for those inevitable in-the-house accidents.) Making sure everyone has a chance to do the fun stuff will keep your dog happy and allow each family member to enjoy his or her individual bond.
Tip: Use Swiffer to ensure you’re not drowning in dog hair. The dry cloth has deep ridges and grooves that conform to the surface of your floor to trap and lock dirt, dust and hair.
Take some time as a family to decide the house rules, like where the dog will sleep and what your method(s) of discipline will be. It is important to act in unison when it comes to integrating a new furry friend into the household to avoid confusing everyone – including the dog – in the house.
Finally, if possible, add family walks into your daily or weekly routine. Not only is a walk necessary for a dog, but getting the whole family together for a quick stroll around the block or to the park will provide valuable conversation time that is free of technology and mobile devices. The possibilities for this one daily task are endless – from boosting your family’s health to improving communication.
Adding a pet to your family should be a decision that is made with much thought, consideration and planning. When well planned, the benefits of adding a furry companion to your life can make all of the hard work worthwhile and energize your family dynamic.
Has adding a dog to your family had a positive impact on your life? Share in the comments below!