1. Wait until your children are old enough. Many children are unaware that animals can experience pain and may accidentally harm companion animals.
Young children, under the age of 6, may be more likely to fall on or trip over a dog or puppy. In addition, due to their age and inexperience around animals, they may not be able to resist pulling an animals ears or tail or trying to ride a dog like a horse.
As hard as it may be for both you and your kids, waiting until your children are old enough is a key factor in the success of adopting a family companion animal.
2. Avoid getting a puppy. Puppies are adorable, but they are also lots of work!
Recognize that no matter what your kids say, you will be the one getting up in the early morning hours to check on that adorable puppy; you will be the one writing out the checks to replace chewed shoes and furniture; you will be the one cleaning up various puppy accidents!
Camp Wannadog believes that adult dogs make wonderful family companions. For the most part, they are less likely to chew or damage items in the home, more likely to already be house-trained, and can be just as eager to learn and easy to train as any puppy! In addition, many times it is easier to determine their temperament, and you already know how big they are going to get.
3. Adopt a mixed breed. As a general rule, mixed breed dogs have more stable temperaments than most purebreds and are healthier too. Statistics show that 1 in 4 purebred dogs in America are afflicted with a serious genetic problem.
For example, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Labradors are sometimes born with crippling hip dysplasia, and Dalmatians are often born deaf.
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What kid doesn’t want a dog at some point? Unfortunately, families often don’t really know how find the best dog for them, which is why they sometimes end up with one that just isn’t a good fit. Parents get frustrated, dogs get returned, kids are unhappy.
Camp Wannadog prevents that by helping kids and their families learn how to pick the right pooch from the start. At Camp Wannadog, children (5th grade and up) work with a variety of local professionals and a highly screened therapy dog to learn the basics of canine temperament, training, grooming, local animal laws and requirements, dog first aid and humane education principles.