Raising a puppy is a joyful experience because you grow as a pet parent while your little furry baby grows. It is like bringing home a companion for a lifetime and a new family member.
However, you should choose wisely if you already have young family members at home. It is about adopting a pet that will be safe to bring home when a baby or toddler is around. Moreover, you want a low-maintenance pet so that you can balance childcare with puppy care.
In 2022, a family in Tennessee suffered because of the wrong choice, with their pet dogs mauling a toddler and a baby and injuring the mother. That’s just one incident in a country where 44.5% of the households own dogs. While the risk of life-threatening events is relatively small with a puppy, you cannot undermine the danger when babies and toddlers are around.
Fortunately, a little education is all you need to choose a family-friendly breed when bringing home a puppy. We have a few insightful tips to pick the perfect one for your young family.
1. Assess Your Family’s Lifestyle
Before considering the ideal puppy breed for your family, understand your lifestyle and daily routine. A few questions will give you a fair idea of what you need to know. How active is your family? Are there any specific limitations in your living situation, such as space constraints or allergies? Do you have young children or other pets? How much time and money can you dedicate to puppy parenting?
Let us consider the last question. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs require at least two hours of dedicated time with humans. Another survey shows that dog parents spend $40-$290 per month on their furry companions, a 15% increase from 2022. Consider these factors to decide whether you can adopt a puppy in the first place.
Once you know that, think about breed-specific requirements because some dogs are more expensive to care for than others. Likewise, some breeds are more active, require more space, and have a higher probability of causing allergies in humans.
2. Research Different Breeds
Once you are sure that adopting a puppy will work for your family’s current lifestyle, start researching different breeds. Take the time to understand their characteristics, temperament, and care requirements. Consider factors like size, energy level, compatibility with children, grooming needs, and common health issues associated with specific breeds.
Say you want to bring home a young Labradoodle as a family member. PetMD notes that Labradoodle puppies make excellent family dogs, with their affectionate nature and minimal shedding. It makes them apt for families with small children, and even those prone to allergies. However, ensure you can dedicate yourself to providing your puppy with the proper training, regular grooming, and a moderate amount of daily exercise.
3. Meet Potential Breeds in Person
After getting facts about different puppy breeds that may be suitable for your young family, set aside time to meet them in person. It will be easy once you narrow down your options. According to statistics, the US market has nearly 2000 licensed breeders and many unlicensed ones. You may consider adopting a pet from a shelter or a friend giving one away. You will not fall short of options when you start looking around.
Potential puppy parents can explore online platforms or local pet breeders for Labradoodle puppies for sale. The good thing about checking options online is that you can know more about their background and even see pictures before dropping in to meet them. Remember to take your kids along and pay attention to how the puppies interact with them.
4. Evaluate Long-Term Commitment
Welcoming a puppy into your family is a long-term commitment. Think thoroughly and be sure that you are ready for the commitment before adopting a pet. Consider the lifespan of the breed you want to adopt and ensure you are ready for the lifestyle changes. Consider how a puppy will blend in and any adjustments you may need to make to accommodate their physical and emotional needs.
For example, your kids should be ready to share your attention with the new family member. The situation may sometimes become similar to sibling rivalry, with young children not willing to give up their share of attention to the puppy. Decide how much time you or your partner can spend with the puppy because separation anxiety is the last thing you want to deal with.
Choosing the perfect puppy breed for a young family is not a breeze. It is a decision requiring careful consideration of your lifestyle, preferences, and commitment level. Remember that there is no room for mistakes, so you must do your homework before bringing your new furry friend home.