shutterstock_109575671Adopting a dog can be a huge deal for any family, but it’s an especially big deal for those with kids. While most adults know the many responsibilities that come with dog adoption, kids aren’t always as aware. If you’re hoping to adopt a dog, make sure your kids are up to the task as well. Get them ready for that new, furry member of the family with a few of these tips.

Get into the dog walking routine early. Before you even adopt a dog, it might be a good idea for the whole family to get into the habit of regular walking. It might sound strange, but making this a part of your schedule before you head to the local adoption agency can help ease the process once your new dog shows up. Create a schedule of who’s responsible for taking the dog out and make sure everyone’s able to stick to it. You might even want to bring some waste disposal bags!

Check out some pet-savvy video games. Believe it or not, there are quite a few video games out there that effectively simulate the responsibilities of having a pet. Nintendo’s “Nintendogs” games for the company’s handheld video game systems require players to train, care for, and play with digital dogs using touch screens, voice recognition microphones and other fun tools. These and other pet-owning games can be fun ways to help kids learn the responsibilities involved in taking care of a pet.

nintendogsTeach proper bite prevention. One of the greatest dangers dogs pose to children is biting. Teach your child the signs that a dog is being aggressive or moody and let them know that they should not play with them in these situations. Be sure your child knows to react to a biting dog y curling up and protecting their hands and face while calling for help. If you are worried about dog bites, supervise your kids’ interactions with dogs and teach your child to use your dog’s stop-commands such as “stop” or “sit.”

Take them to the local shelter or adoption agency. When you’re looking to adopt a dog, don’t neglect to have him or her meet your kids before signing the papers! Bring your children to meet this potential new family member at your local shelter or adoption agency. If the dog does not get along you’re your children, he is probably not the dog for you. Meet with different dogs until you find the one that’s the best fit for your family, then get ready to make the leap – before long, your new pet will have made your home his or her own! Also, make sure you are choosing a dog that isn’t scary to your children. In addition to them being scared, a skittish child will make an adopted dog more nervous.

Canines require a good deal of care, and dog training can be incredibly intensive. For this reason, a dog is not always a great first pet to put a child in charge of. Dogs are incredibly affectionate, though, and make great, protective companions for a child, as long as there is plenty of adult supervision and care. If you get a dog, you will find yourself doing most of the care and dog training.

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.

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