Diary of a Dad: Week 36 - Are We Ready For A Pet?

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When is a good time to introduce a dog into your family? I don’t think there is a good time exactly, but having a dog is mint.

No disrespect to cat lovers, but dogs are epic. The thing is, with kids too, you can have your work cut out for you. Getting it right with a dog and kids can be done, you just need to have a plan.

We’ve just got a pup and we’ve learnt a few things really quickly!

Plan

Having a plan for introducing any kind of pet to your family is so important. Don’t go out on a whim and make an impulse buy! Pets take a tonne of time and it’s unfair to rush into it, not just for the animal but for the rest of you too.

Thinking carefully about what dog you’re getting and when is key. Different breeds have different needs. There’s a lot of complex things to think about, so do your research. Pick a dog that fits your lifestyle and your time. A high maintenance breed isn’t a good shout if you don’t have the time to spend with them.

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Invest time early

With dogs, you need to start off right. Training from day one is really important. There needs to be boundaries, especially if there are kids involved.

If the dog knows what they can and can’t do, they’re more predictable. The long and short is you can never leave a dog with kids, but you can certainly ensure the dog knows what to do around the kids and how to behave.

If you can, get in with a dog trainer early. It’s one of the best things we’ve done. Not only has it helped the dog, it’s helped us understand the dog. So important, because even when I thought I knew a bit about dogs, I really didn’t!

Enjoy it

Although getting a dog is a massive tie, there’s nothing like the love and the bond it builds with the kids.

Our boys adore the dog and between the ear pulling and the arm nibbling, there’s so much love. It’s such a lovely thing to see.

One thing we’ve tried to do is to not change our lives round the dog, but to include the mutt where we can. It’s meant she’s got used to life with us pretty quickly and she’s slotted straight in.

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