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Household Pets


Dogs and Kids: A Complete Guide

Kid with husky

Dogs and Kids: A Complete Guide

For many families, having a pet dog is the ultimate in completing the family unit. They provide something for which a child can care for. Dogs also offer companionship. But selecting the right dog for your family is no small task. In fact, it's a decision that should be made with much gravity as this animal will be with you for life.

When it comes to selecting your pet, you need to think about which dogs get along best with kids, the allergen factor, energy level and so much more. Let's dive into everything you need to know about dogs and kids and introducing a family pet into your mix.

Asian mother and two kids sitting and playing together with Shiba inu dog in public park. happy family and pet
Introducing a pet to your family requires some thoughtful consideration before you take the leap.


What Size Dog is Best for Your Family?

When selecting a dog, one of the many things to consider is the dog's size. Is a Newfoundland the right choice if you live in a small home? Perhaps a dachshund is better suited for a small space. Indeed, dog sizes run the gamut, so do your research and think about the space you have to offer a pet.

RELATED: Are Small Dogs Good With Kids?

Think About Energy Levels

Do you have young, active kids who would love to play fetch or go hiking with a dog? Then you'll want a dog who is up for the task. Or on the contrary, if your family is gone at work and school all day, getting a high-energy dog may be a miss as they will get bored and may destroy your home in your absence. Learn more about various breeds' energy levels and hone in on one that will match your family's activity level.

Cost Matters

Various dog breeds are genetically predisposed to various health issues. Labs, for example, are notorious for having hip issues. Bulldogs, given their smushed faces, often have sinus problems. And with these issues come vet visits and subsequent vet bills. If you're tight on cash, bear these potential issues in mind as it's not fair to take on ownership if you can't provide life-long care for your pet.

Sweet little mixed race child doing her homework while lying on the living room carpet with her puppy. Child colouring while bonding with her emotional support rescue dog
Growing up with a dog can be a magical experience filled with lifelong memories — if the right selection is made.


Consider the Kids

Two BIG things that parents should consider when thinking about adding a pet to the mix are the ages of the children and whether the kids have pet allergies. Spend some time at a local shelter mingling with the dogs and see how your child reacts. If sneezes about, you'll need to decide whether you should get a dog at all or if there is a hypoallergenic breed that would be a better decision over another. Regarding the ages of your children, babies and toddlers that may crawl all over the dog may not be ideal for nippy breeds like corgis and collies, which were bred to nip at livestock. The last thing you need is a dog bite!

Finding the Best Breed for Your Family

With all of the above considerations in mind, it's time to take a look at what options await. Here is a list of dog breeds. Click the links to learn more about each. Find out how they do with kids and if it's a great fit for your family. And then go find your new family member and start making memories to last a lifetime!

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