how to choose a dog to fit your family with kidsAre your kids always asking you for a dog but you aren’t sure if it’s a good idea? There are a few important guidelines you should look over before making your final decision. You have to keep in mind your family’s everyday lifestyle, your kid’s personalities, and what you can afford. Below are some helpful tips on how to make sure your newest family member will fit in perfectly.


You should start by thinking about your living situation. Dogs have a lot of energy and need room to run around. Your house should provide enough space inside and out, especially for larger dogs like German shepherds and St. Bernard’s. If you live in an apartment, you should have a park nearby and a decent amount of grass space in the backyard. Smaller breeds are perfect for these situations because they are easier to care for in a small area and are tolerant to being indoors. Remember to consider what your weather is like year around. Some dog breeds can have serious issues in certain climates.

Parents are always on the run. Make sure you have time to pencil in another family member in your busy schedule. Dogs, especially puppies can be a handful. Although, getting a pet can teach your children responsibly. So if you are worried you can’t handle it on your own, give your kids a list of chores to help out since it was their idea. Also you can make use of doggy day cares and take proper precautions while you’re away.

You wont spend as much purchasing the dog as you will paying to take care of it. You need to add your new dog’s expenses to your budget and see if you are able to afford it every month. Think about how much food you will have to buy, depending on the size of your dog. Healthcare, medicine, shots, grooming etc. are all very important. Also, don’t forget their accessories like chew toys, kennels, leashes and more!

All dogs should be properly groomed. Dogs with thick or long hair may need extra brushing several times a week. Most children aren’t able to understand this, so it makes it easier to get a one that has short hair. Another advantage to shorthaired dogs is they are less likely to shed all over your furniture.

Which Dog Will Fit Your Personality

Keep in mind how many family members you have and how it will affect them. If you have a large family and your bringing in a new puppy, they can feel alarmed. You will want to slowly introduce the dog to each member. Once they start to at home they should feel better about being around everyone. Also, sometimes you may not know that your kids have allergies because they haven’t been around a dog for long periods of time. If they are allergic, no worries! Breeds such as the Maltese or Shih Tzu are easier to live with then others.

Find a dog that will fit your kid’s personality perfectly. Children who are super outgoing will do better with excited, friendly dogs. Children who are more quiet and to themselves will enjoy a dog with a calm mindset. Puppies and older dogs will be more work because they require extra attention. Its best if you sit down with your kids and ask them what kind of breeds they like. The whole family should find the dog compatible. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters and the Newfoundland are all loveable family dogs.

To find out more about how to choose the right dog for your kids, call us at (636) 939-3000.