If you are still asking “Should I get a dog for my family or not”, here are some good reasons you should consider getting a dog.
Whether you are a dog person or a cat person, getting a family dog has a lot of benefits and advantages. Your kids are always excited to have a new furry member in the family.
Dogs can be everything humans want from a companion. Dogs are one of the most lovely creatures ever. They are loyal, protective, friendly, and helpful. There are a myriad of reasons why you should consider getting a family dog today.
Getting a family dog also has its own problems, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. Before we see the top reasons why you should consider getting a family dog, here are some things to consider before getting a dog.
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Things to consider before getting a family dog
Getting a puppy or adopting an adult canine comes with its own responsibilities you need to factor in before making the decision. Dogs are not inanimate dolls or furniture. They require nurture and care just like you would for your own children.
For example, you need to take your dog for a bath every day or at least regularly. You need to buy feed specially for them which increases your monthly expenses. Vet bills can skyrocket particularly when your dog develops health problems, and so on.
These are not reasons to dissuade you from getting a dog but they are honest things to bear in mind before getting a dog. These reasons help you determine if having a dog is a feasible choice at the moment. For instance, if you are planning to relocate across the country in a couple of months, you may want to consider placing plans to get a dog on hold.
That being said, getting a family dog is something you should consider doing if you feel you have the resources and you are ready for it. The following are some beneficial reasons to get a family dog today.
Top Reasons To Get A Family Dog
If you are still quite confused about getting a dog or not, these are the top reasons why you need to get a family dog today.
1. More opportunities for physical activity and exercise
Do you know having a family dog can give you more opportunities to get physical and shed off excess weight? Dogs are highly physical animals. They sniff around the entire yard jumping and running about and looking for an opportunity to play.
Dogs have their bathroom outside. They love running and being outside. What this means is that you have to accept the responsibility to take your family dog outside always, giving you an opportunity to get physical too.
Someone in the family needs to take the dog for a dog walk in the morning and another family member at lunchtime. This is a rare opportunity to stretch your muscles and avoid being sedentary.
Regular brisk walking for at least 30 minutes per day has been linked to better cardiovascular health and the prevention of hypertension and high cholesterol in people.
Dogs need to be taken out in the rain, sleet, and snow, as well as when the sun is shining and the breeze is delightful. So, you might need to invest in all-weather walking gear for dog walkers in your household.
2. Emotional, social, and cognitive benefits to your children
Do you also know that having a family dog can benefit your children emotionally and academically? Research shows that kids who grow up with pets, including pooches, are more emotionally and intellectually developed than those who do not have any external object of social interaction.
Being close to a dog and engaging in some of the pet care duties makes kids feel more responsible for and close to another creature. They see the need to be responsible at an early age and this can help them think in creative ways at that tender age.
Children who live with a family dog naturally develop a sense of empathy and camaraderie. They learn to treat all beings including animals with respect.
Also, dogs can cause chaos in the home. Your dog might chew on your vintage table legs, poop in places they shouldn’t, and so on. Making everyone in the family responsible for your family dog can boost your kids’ brain development as they always look out for ways to solve some of these issues.
3. Companionship for every member of your family
Whether you have a son or daughter with special needs or not, a dog can be the best companion for you and your entire family. Dogs develop unconditional love with their owners and do everything possible to bring them happiness and true friendship.
Simple gestures like your dog coming to greet you at the door when you return from work can go a long way to make your day and bring you a deeper sense of companionship with every member of your household. And when no one else is around for work or travel, you can count on your dog to be your companion.
When couples grow old and form an empty nest (when their children have all formed their own families outside), that is the stage when they hate to feel lonely the most. They have lived almost all their lives with these children but now they are not around anymore.
This can be particularly nostalgic. Having a family can help fill the void by a little, especially when the dog has been with the entire family before.
4. Teaches division of labour and family collaboration
Having everyone in your family have a sense of common purpose and a need for collaboration is one of the best things that can happen to any family. Owning a dog is a common responsibility for everyone in the family. As a matter of fact, your kids would naturally and voluntarily love to groom and take care of your dog.
Your family learns to collaborate in caring for the family dog. Who does the grooming, who does the dog walking, veterinarian visits, and feeding, and at what time each member does their shift for these activities? This can extend beyond just caring for a dog to other activities of common interest within and outside the home.
Division of labour makes every activity easier for everyone. The more responsibilities are shared, the easier the experience will be for everyone. Getting a family dog is a creative way to teach that to everyone in the family. The family dog is everyone’s child and that is a wonderful opportunity to build family togetherness and division of labour.
5. Mental health benefits and family bonding
Loneliness and boredom can lead to several mental health problems including depression, anxiety, or substance use disorder. Becoming a dog owner can help prevent loneliness and feelings of depression. This can effectively augment, but not replace professional therapy and medications when dealing with those conditions.
Can you imagine what it would feel like when you are having a verbal conflict with your partner, and your dog runs to your legs and gives you a passionate and calming look from the ground? It can be therapeutic and can help lighten the mood.
Dogs have an amazing ability to bring up your spirits when you’re feeling down. Even if not clinically depressed, but having a tough day, being able to spend time just petting your pooch can calm you down well enough, especially when you realise that no matter what, your four-legged pal loves you unconditionally.
Dogs have a way of coming up with amusing distractions that can lighten your mood and positively affect your mental health. Watching a dog chase its own tail can cause you to smile or laugh out loud. This can boost your mood from zero to ten in a flash.
Lastly, following a divorce, owning a dog can help you feel better and give you a sense of renewed focus and purpose. As earlier stated, your dog can give you happiness and laughter, in turn enhancing your mood and mental health.
6. A family dog can protect your family
Dogs have saved countless lives, from growing children to accident victims to armed robbery attacks, and more others. Having a family dog should be considered an asset and not a liability, particularly when you have the resources to take care of it.
The barks from a dog can indicate if anyone in the family or herself is in distress. It can alert other people in the neighbourhood if there is a need for urgent intervention. This can be life-saving in such situations.
Disadvantages of having a family dog
We can’t look at the top reasons to get a family dog without also looking at the top reasons not to get a family dog. Here are some of the disadvantages of owning a family dog. I have mentioned some of these in passing but might just recap them here.
Your child might be allergic to dog hair and might need frequent ENT services.
Frequently asked questions about owning a family dog
What is the best time to get a family dog?
It is ideal to wait until your child is older than 4 years old before getting a family dog. This is because your child might be too young to stay safe around the dog and the dog might inadvertently cause injury and/or death to the child.
It is important for children to get involved in the training and caring for the family dog in order to establish a stronger bond between them. Thus, waiting till they are 5 years old is not a bad idea at all.
What is the best place to get a family dog?
The best place to get a family dog is at the local pet shop. They should have enough information and guidance for you on how to best train and care for your dog.
Are cats better than dogs?
This is subjective. Some people prefer dogs to cats, and vice-versa. The advantages of cats over dogs include; cats are neater and choose where to poo, cats are easier and cheaper to feed and maintain, and they cause less nuisance than dogs. But dogs are more friendly and communicative than cats.
How can I convince your spouse to get a family dog?
This could stand as a topic of its own but long story short, give them enough reasons to get a pet. Some of these reasons in this post could suffice. Also, discuss and get prepared for the responsibilities that come with having a family dog.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.