Getting a puppy for a birthday or Christmas is almost every kid’s dream. Still, parents usually will avoid getting a puppy because of all the work and responsibilities that come with it. This leads to many parents questioning at what age their kid can take on the responsibility of caring for a puppy.
As a general rule, any kid under the age of eight is probably still too young to take care of a puppy fully and will need your help. Even a small breed such as a Cavapoo at full grown size may be too big for younger children to handle. Whether they are ready after that will be different for every kid as they all mature at different ages. Here are a few tips you can try if your kid asks you for a puppy.
Buy Yourself Time
As adults, we understand that getting a puppy is a lot bigger decision than a kid does. So one thing you can do to help your kid understand this is to talk to them about all the hard work and responsibilities that come with having a puppy. You can explain to them that you will have to take it on walks daily and put it through training, which is not as simple as most people think, along with the expense of supplies, food, and vet visits.
Explain the Responsibilities
Instead of just saying no when your kid asks for a puppy, try explaining all the responsibilities a puppy comes with and let them know why you think your family isn’t ready for a puppy yet. Maybe you can even make a deal with them. They can get a puppy if they show you that they can take responsibility for their chores and school work.
Visit Friends and Families Pets
Sometimes, a kid wants a puppy because they watch movies, which only show the good side of things. So maybe try taking them to a friend’s or family’s house that has a dog a few times to see if they like the dog, and maybe even try taking them to one that has a big dog and one that has a small one, this will help them understand the difference.
Teach Your Kid to Take Responsibility Beforehand
If you feel your kid isn’t ready to care for a dog, you can try a few things to help them. One thing I saw a parent try was having their kid act like they already had a dog. The mom told her kid that if he took the leash on a walk every day for a month, she would get him a dog. This way, you will know if your kid wants a puppy because it was an in-the-moment thing or if they wanted a dog. Then you will know if they will get sick of taking care of the dog after a while.
Training Tips for Kids and Puppies
Raising a puppy can be both a joyful and challenging experience for anyone, but it can be especially rewarding for kids if done with care and supervision. While it’s important for kids to learn about responsible pet ownership, there are several aspects of raising a puppy that require adult help, guidance and ultimately responsibility.
Before deciding whether or not your child is ready to help raise a puppy, consider the following:
- Is the child mature enough to understand they must always supervise the pup in order to keep them safe?
- Is your family able to commit enough time and energy into caring for the puppy on a daily basis?
- Are you prepared to take over any tasks that are too difficult or unsafe for children?
- Do you know where and how to seek professional help if needed?
Once these questions have been answered, parents should provide adequate training tips in order for their children and puppies to be successful. Some important training tips include:
- Instilling positive reinforcement when disciplining puppies rather than negative punishment such as hitting or scolding them.
- Teaching children basic commands such as “sit,” “down” or “come” that can help with controlling the pup’s behavior.
- Providing ample amounts of exercise both indoors (playtime) and outdoors (walks).
- Establishing strong behaviors in puppies by repetitively rewarding good behavior but also intervening when necessary.
- Having patience when teaching puppies new behaviors – it takes time! Never expect instant results.
As long as parents assume responsibility for any tasks their children might not understand or be able to accomplish, kids can certainly benefit from helping raise puppies – an experience that could bring joy into their lives while learning valuable lessons about life at the same time!
Expenses and Helping
Although, you will have to realize that you will have to help at least a little bit, no matter how old your kid is. They will need help getting supplies for the puppy and paying for them. Then you also need to consider pet insurance and vet visits, they will need help paying for that as well, and they will need someone to drive them to the vet if the dog ever gets sick.
Lastly, your kid will also need help finding a good reputable breeder. They may already know what breed or color of dog they want, but they will need help choosing the right place to get it from.
Overall, getting a puppy is a lot of work, and while your kid can help out a lot, there are still some things you will need to help out with. However, puppies are so cute and fun that you’ll find it hard to complain whenever the little fur baby is around.
In conclusion, if kids want to raise a puppy, they must be prepared to commit to the process. Puppies need love and attention and they cannot take care of themselves. It is important for children to understand that providing for a new puppy involves taking on significant responsibilities and making sure their pet is provided with adequate nutrition, shelter, exercise and medical care.