Pets for Children

Dog as a pet for my 4 year old daughter

Nirmala
1 to 3 years

Created by
Updated on Aug 21, 2013

Hi :   I am planning to bring home a pet dog for my 4 year old daughter.    I am a working mother so I have been pondering a lot about if or not it would be a good idea to bring home a pet.   While I see the bright side that my daughter does love dogs, she will have company and also will develop sharing and caring attitude.   The flipside is I am not sure if I would be able to manage to take enough care of the pet.   My hubby also loves dogs and he would be helping in terms of taking it for walk, cleanliness etc.   I request inputs/views to help me arrive at a suitable decision.   Also need advice on which breed dog I should go for - I would prefer a breed which is not high maintenance.   We stay in a penthouse flat so there will be restricted area for him to move around.    

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Nirmala

| Aug 23, 2013

Thanks Anurima and Nitin. Your inputs has been very informative and I am sure really useful for me to make a right decision.

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Anurima

| Aug 21, 2013

You may also find some useful tips in the following blog: https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/when-is-a-child-ready-for-a-pet/158

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Shikha Batra

| Aug 21, 2013

Gr8 inputs n very informative for first timers too!

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Anurima

| Aug 21, 2013

Dear Nirmala. Dogs are great companions and for life! They need as much care and attention as a child does. I second all of what Nitin has said in his post. Having been brought up around dogs, I would encourage you to get one for your child provided you and your family can keep up with his/her daily needs as pointed out by Nitin. Please check the breeders background, the dogs bloodline (documents related to the dogs birth, papers of the dogs parents etc). A good breeder should have all the papers in place. He/she should be able to guide you about the dogs feeding schedule, the amount of exercise they need, educate you about the necessary vaccines, grooming etc. Over the years, we have had cocker spaniels, German Shepherds, Pomeranian, a Labrador retriever and a golden retriever. Retrievers and German Shepherds need plenty of exercise and have an appetite. If they are over fed, they easily put on weight and with the lack of exercise, they can develop serious health issues such as hip displacia. So if you stay in an apartment, make sure there is plenty of space around outside for your new pup to release his/her energy and get that much needed exercise. Cocker spaniels, bull dogs are smaller breed. Please make sure you get a dog from a reliable breeder (do all the research you can on him/her) and it is not advisable to get a pup younger than 8 weeks old. Puppies need at least upto 8 weeks to be nurtured and grow healthily around the mother. After that they are ready to explore the world on their own. Once you get a pup, there will be a few nights of howling and crying, but please do not let the puppy sleep alone. Get a cozy blanket and let him/her sleep on the bed with you. Once the separation anxiety passes, he/she will find a comfortable place on his/her own :) Lastly, breeds such as cocker spaniels, golden retrivers shed plenty of fur all year round. So if you are concerned with the upkeep and hygiene around the house, you may go in for a breed with short fur. Good luck and keep us posted on this :)

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nitin

| Aug 21, 2013

Hi Nirmala! Really nice thought to expand the family, especially keeping your daughter in mind. A pet is perhaps among the best gifts a parent may gift her child. Research has shown positive results when children grow up with pets. There is a marked impact in areas of compassion, care for others, care for environment, decision making, self awareness and responsibility among children. Of course there is that worry about being able to take proper care of the pet. It is like expanding your family, and when that happens, each family member needs to pledge support and take specific areas of responsibility. While you have got your hubby's support, you both need to decide among yourself of specific responsibility areas beginning with (a) taking him for regular walks/play (b) vaccination (c) grooming/brushing/ training (d) upkeep- care at home, like picking the poop,moping the floor (e) a friend's/relative's place/pet care to stay in case you travel out of station. You both then need to also have a similar chat with your daughter on her responsibilities and whether she is ready for them. she is young, but she will understand once you speak to her in detail. It's important to involve her from the beginning. There are several house breeds which gel in easily in a "flat/building" kind of a culture and adapt well. These are labrador, retrievers, cocker spaniel, the indian mongril and so on. Keeping in mind your child's age and the setting, i reccommed a labrador.

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