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Dog Checklist: “Before You Buy”

This checklist contains important questions that you should discuss with your family before buying a dog. And there’s a “Parents’ Info” section at the end. Feel free to print this page so you can tick the boxes.

1. Can you look after a dog for 10-13 years?

Dogs live from around 10 to 13 years. Maybe you won’t be in school anymore, and you might be training or studying in another place.

2. Do you have any animal allergies?

Then, unfortunately, a pet might not be such a good idea. The same goes if a member of your family is allergic to animals.

3. Can someone look after your dog if you go on vacation?

A dog might be able to come on vacation with you, as long as the journey isn’t too long or tiring. If they have to stay at home, they can be looked after by relatives or stay at a doggy hotel. These can be expensive, and your dog won’t enjoy being away from its “pack” with strange people.

4. Do you have enough money to look after the dog?

A dog doesn’t just need food and toys. If your pet gets ill, you’ll have to take it to the vet and it could need medication or an expensive operation.

5. Does your whole family agree with the decision?

After all, your parents will be responsible for your pet. They have to agree. Even your siblings should get a say in getting a new family member.

6. Are you prepared to take it for walks every day?

Dogs need exercise every day. Even if it’s cold, raining or snowing. If you’re not sure if you can “cope” with this every day, try it out: go for a walk every day without a dog (but you can pretend you’re walking a dog). You can do this to prove to your parents that you’re serious.

Parents’ Info

A pet can be a great experience for kids. Here are five reasons pets are good for children:

Children with pets:

  • Learn about responsibility.
  • Develop confidence and empathy.
  • Are more active and get sick less often.
  • Are less stressed and suffer from less anxiety.
  • Feel less alone when their parents are at work.

Please don’t forget that parents are ultimately responsible for their children’s pets. Your child is allowed to help with feeding and cleaning but shouldn’t attempt these jobs alone until they’re at least 12 years old.

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