If you are contemplating getting your toddler a new puppy, it is easy to get lost in the many happy images you have in your mind of seeing your child grow up with their very own dog. But before you run out and get the first cute puppy that appears in front of you, take these four things into consideration to ensure all goes well.
Time and Energy
Whenever you bring a puppy into your home, it will have plenty of energy that needs to be burned off each day. Since the same can be said for your toddler, you should stop to consider if you will have the time and energy needed to give both the puppy and your toddler the attention and care they will need.
Selecting the Right Breed
When you have a toddler in the house, selecting the right breed of dog becomes even more important. When conducting your search, remember that certain breeds such as Labrador or Golden Retrievers have laid-back personalities and are known for being very good with children. However, smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas are more easily frightened by loud noises or being tugged and pulled by toddlers, which could result in them biting the child. To help with your decision, it is often a good idea to speak with a veterinarian.
Veterinarians will have the knowledge and experience to help you know what to expect from each breed. Plus, you will be working with the veterinarian throughout the lifespan of your puppy, if you decide to get one. Starting a relationship with the vet before purchasing your puppy may be a great way to ensure you have the right vet for your puppy.
Before you bring home a new puppy for your toddler, take some time to consider each of their personalities. By doing so, chances are your matchmaking will be a success. For example, if your child is soft-spoken and gentle, try to find a puppy whose personality seems similar. Likewise, if your toddler is more outgoing and energetic, having a puppy to give them a run for their money may be a match made in Heaven.
Don’t Make Your Child Solely Responsible for Care
While you will want to teach your child the importance of properly caring for their new puppy, a toddler is by no means ready to accept full responsibility for the daily care of a dog. Therefore, regardless of the type of breed you select, always make sure you are willing to make a commitment that may last a decade or more. Once you and your child start caring for the puppy together, they will quickly begin to learn responsibility.
By using your common sense and good judgement, speaking to a veterinarian, and selecting a puppy with the right temperament for your family, your toddler will have a canine companion they can count on for many years.