I was definitely on the fence for a long time about whether or not we should get a family dog. Would it be too much of a bind, would the kids really help look after the dog despite swearing blind that they would. Eventually I climbed off that fence and went for it. I’m so glad we did and I’d like to share 9 reasons why getting a family dog is the best idea ever:
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Now, you may be thinking about the possible downsides (like negotiating with the kids about poop patrol!) and it is of course important to think very carefully about it. In the meantime, read my advice on 10 things you should know before you get a family dog, but here are some reasons why having a family dog has really been a blessing for our family:
#1. The Kids do Learn Responsibility
The children are learning to be more responsible about their pet; now they have someone else that’s part of their lives and that they promised you they would look after.
They may need reminding once in a while (not everyone volunteers straight off to do poop patrol!) but it’s true they are responsible now. They enjoy the care taking and it’s great to see them take that responsibility.
#2. The Family Will Be More Active
We are definitely more active as a family and I am so much more active myself as the primary walker! Before we got a dog, our youngest in particular would moan about the suggestion of a family walk.
Now that it’s about taking the dog out, she jumps into the car with him without any complaining. If you are planning long walks, then make sure you choose a family breed that’s suitable, as not all dogs can handle extended periods of exercise.
#3. The Unconditional Love is Heartwarming
The greeting from our dog whenever anyone in the family walks in the door is so pleasing it makes you smile every time. Our dog literally waggles his bottom in delight when he sees us; he jumps up and licks you even if it’s only been 5 minutes since you went away!
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#4. Having a Pet Can Calm You Down
If anyone has an argument then they head straight to bury their nose in the dog’s fur and calm down.
I’ve heard that having a pet lowers the blood pressure, I can believe that now.
#5. The Cuddles are Great
When he cuddles up and snoozes on your lap and is so sweet it makes you feel so good. There’s something about a furry warm thing to cuddle.
#6. The Dog is Company
If you work from home like me, it’s nice to have company during the day. He curls up on his mat in my home office beside me while I work and comes with me to the kitchen while I make my 2nd cup of coffee.
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#7. You Meet Some Amazing Dogs and Their Owners
Before I had a dog I might admire a dog from a distance but I would never go up and find out about it and chat to the owner.
Now we have met some amazing dogs and chatted to people that we wouldn’t normally have. It is like getting membership into a big club you never realised was there.
#8. Life is Never Dull With a Dog
Dogs love playing and running and having fun. They are never happier than when you are throwing a ball to them or playing a game of tug with them.
And wait until you take them for a walk and they meet another dog, and you’re wondering will they or won’t they like this new dog, I tell you life can’t be dull.
#9. You Will Laugh or Smile Regularly at Your Dog
Dogs do funny things. Our puppy cocks his head and almost bats his eyelids when you mention the W word. And when you see him literally leaping on all fours across a field you just can’t help laughing.
Over to you now. Have you taken the jump and got a family dog? Did these reasons resonate with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.