When Your Kid Asks for a Puppy

How to take care of a puppy when your kid wants a furry companion.

The Benefits of Canine Companionship

The popularity of dog ownership is at an all-time high. Kids especially love and desire a furry friend to keep them company. Nothing compares to the unbridled love of a dog greeting his human at the door after a long day at work. The slobbery kisses, the tail wagging and the squeaky toys are par for the course with sharing our home with our four-legged family members. Sometimes, however, Fido can perplex us with undesirable behaviors and unexpected complications. Below are three common issues and suggestions for dealing with them so that you can give your child a friend!

Destructive Chewing

You arrive home, looking forward to a furry welcome. What you find instead is a war zone full of pillow fluff, toilet paper confetti and holey socks. What could have gone wrong? You filled the Kong with plenty of peanut butter, tuned on Animal Planet and secured the laundry room door. We may give them everything that we think they need, but what we often fail to remember when we decide to bring a dog into the house is that they also become dependent upon our attention. Leaving him alone even for an hour feels like a lifetime to him without your company. He wants to be included. When he isn’t included, he looks for ways to alleviate his negative feelings about the “abandonment” that he is experiencing. Unfortunately, there is no way at this time to explain to him why he can’t go with you to the dentist. So we as responsible dog owners are left with looking for methods of providing canine coping skills and taking as many preventive measures as possible.

Many people are turning to the use of hemp oil as a way to manage symptoms of conditions such as anxiety. Dogs can also suffer from anxiety, especially when they are left alone. There are several brands of hemp oil dog treats and even drops that you can administer to him before you depart. Another option is to play calming music for your pup. There are discs and YouTube channels dedicated to tunes that seem to have a calming effect on dogs. Having background noise going while you are away can also give pets the impression that they are not actually alone.

Uninvited Furniture Jumping

A laid-back cuddle on the couch is no problem. A puppy on the lap while you’re reading the paper in your favorite chair is pleasant. Waking up to your dog jumping onto the bed with a dead mouse in his mouth is definitely not okay. Suddenly you are wide awake in the middle of the night searching the internet for how to remove blood from sheets.

A good way to discourage midnight visits from your little hunter is to develop signals that your dog understands. You love him, but you need to set limits so that he knows what is appropriate furniture and what is forbidden. If you keep at it, he will soon understand when and how he can show you affection. He may not understand why, but you will at least reduce the occurrence of unnecessary trips to the washing machine. Get the most out of your nuzzling sessions when they are desired and requested so that he doesn’t feel like he is being rejected completely.

House Soiling

Countless hours are spent walking, waiting and rewarding when your dog does his business outside. He sits patiently while you get your shoes on so that he can mark his favorite tree and check out that squirrel that taunts him from the other side of the fence. Everything seems to be going perfectly until one morning you walk into the kitchen and step directly into a puddle or, even worse - a pile of excrement. Before you know it, you’re mopping the floor nearly every day and avoiding hosting holiday parties because you are worried that everyone can smell Fido’s little mistakes.

Whether relieving himself on your tile floor was intentional or not, it pays to take the time to investigate and eliminate anything that may contribute to an accident. Try waiting five minutes longer during the last potty break of the night and take the water dish away at least an hour before going to bed. At worst, you may need to take him to the veterinarian so that he can test for urinary tract infections and other illnesses known to cause these problems.

Although taking care of a new puppy can be some work, they are absolutely worth it! They are cute, friendly, and kids love them! For fun activities you can do with your dog and the whole family, check out these ideas.

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