Is there anything sweeter than seeing two beings being carefree and happy? Kids and dogs are amazing together, they have so much fun that, to the parents watching them from the other room, it seems like they will never run out of energy. They both feel devotion and love for each other that can’t be put to words, and they will grow up to be each other’s best friend. Before they get to that point, however, some awkward but still adorable introductions are in order.
Start out slowly
You should take things slowly. After all, you don’t want your kids to get the wrong impression and grow up being afraid of dogs, do you? Before you bring the puppy in your home, take the time to talk to your kids about animals, about responsibilities, and try to teach them to be gentle. Let them know that puppy is just a baby too, that is playful but also fragile. Tell them that when the puppy stops being a baby and becomes a ‘grownup’ they will be best friends, but also explain that it will take a lot of time and effort to train it.
Depending on how old your children are, they might be overwhelmed a bit (or a lot) the first time they see a dog. They might get carried away and think that the small, fluffy fellow is just like their favourite toy, which can result in a rough behaviour. Kids can be a bit rough when petting the puppy or picking it up, they might hug them too tight, or they might try and dress it in doll clothes. All this is perfectly understandable, but in order to spare the puppy and teach your kids how to act around an animal, it’s best if you’re present. You can be on the couch while they’re playing together, or you can be in the garden with them. As they get used to each other more, you can stay in another room and watch them play with a smile on your face.
We all know how challenging taking care of your family can be: your spouse, your kids, and your home all need attention, and a new puppy is as fragile as a toddler. You might be tempted to let your kids feed the pup or walk it, but you should wait for the right time. At first, kids should only pet their puppy, help you brush them, and help you put food in their bowl. Older kids should also know how to pick the right food for their puppy: Royal Canin puppy food is not the same as their educational treats, and it’s important to know how much food is enough. As they get older, kids can take their dog to the vet, walk them on their own, and buy them toys, but they should form a strong bond with their furry friend first.
Patience is golden
Kids and puppies are very much alike: they get excited easily, they are always ready to play, and are rather curious. When they see a puppy for the first time, kids will instinctively reach out and try to hug them, but they shouldn’t do that. It’s important to let the dog approach the child, and not the other way around because that way the pup will not feel intimidated. Explain to your kids that even though they are just kids, the puppy perceives them as real giants, and they should be patient and let the dog adjust to its new home and new family before they start playing together.
Introducing a new puppy to its new home is always an exciting and emotional event, especially if you have kids. You should be aware that there will be a time when all of you will have to adjust to each other, and the process is not always easy. The good sides, however, outweigh the ‘bad’ ones and after a while you will catch yourself thinking: “How could’ve we ever lived without a puppy?”