If your children have been nagging you for years to get a dog, you might be starting to give in. A dog can be a great addition to a family; they can make for great companions and could also help protect your household. However, if this is your first time around, there's no way to tell if you're going to be able to handle the responsibilities. You also have to make sure that your children are ready for the commitment. Let's take a look at a few things you'll need to look at to make sure that your family is ready to welcome a dog home.

Are your children comfortable around animals?

The last thing you want is to have a scared child around the dog. You want to make sure that all your children are truly comfortable with them first. If you want to know how they'll react, a good idea would be to bring them with you to a shelter. See how they interact with dogs. You could also let them play with some of your friends’ pets. This will give you a better idea of how they behave when there's a dog around. 

We would also suggest that you consider older. Shelters have plenty of senior dogs who need love, and they tend to be much less aggressive. One thing you'll have to watch out for, however, is health issues, especially when it comes to joints and bones. Thankfully, many products provide natural joint care for dogs. You can buy joint care for your dog from suppliers such as YuMOVE, for instance. They have a formula that is perfect for adult dogs and could help them retain their mobility. Their formula can help reduce joint stiffness and support joint structure by protecting the joints and providing them with the nutrients needed to stay strong and healthy.

Are they respectful of pets in general?

Another thing you want to pay very special attention to is how respectful your children are of dogs, or animals in general. Some children will be aggressive and downright cruel to animals. They might not have the empathy necessary to take care of one, and you should never put a dog in that type of situation.

One thing we would recommend is that you get them a small pet first, like a rabbit or a hamster. You will then be able to see if they treat them with love and respect as well as how responsible they are. If they can’t manage to keep the cage clean or make sure that they always have food and water, you can’t expect them to do better with a dog. This is a great way to test their discipline and see if they’re truly serious about wanting to take care of one.

Are your children good with chores?

What is your children's attitude towards doing work around the house? If they absolutely hate chores or don't have any, you might be in trouble once a dog is added into the mix. Not only will there be chores associated with the dog, but the house will need more maintenance as well. This means much more work than they have right now, so if they can't handle simple chores, they can't handle a dog, it’s as simple as that.

You should also take a look at some of their daily habits. Do you have to fight them so they take a shower or brush their teeth before they go to bed at night? If you do, then it might be a sign that they're not mature enough yet. 

If the child is going to be the one mainly responsible for the dog, then it's usually a better idea to wait until their pre-teens before getting one. If you decide to get one before that, you can't expect them to take the dog on walks and train them. So, you'll have to be ready to take on those responsibilities.

How energetic is your child?

When children say that they want a dog, they usually mean it in a theoretical sense. They don’t really know what owning a dog is like and what it entails. One thing that will be particularly important for the dog is that they get enough activity. If they don’t, they can become destructive and dangerous. If you want to keep the dog active, your children have to be as well. If your child spends half of their day playing video games or on their tablet, you can’t expect them to become active overnight. This is probably who they are. They might act like they love going on walks at 6 in the morning at first, but they will eventually go back to their old ways. They might stop going on walks or cheat a little. So, make sure that they are ready for the physical challenge of owning a dog.

These are all things that should allow you to get a better idea of whether your children are truly ready for a dog or are simply saying so. Everyone needs to be on board for the sake of your household and the pet.