You've been thinking about it for a while and the idea of giving your child a puppy is very appealing. But are you sure you want another mouth, complete with sharp teeth, to feed?
"A dog, like a cat, is a great responsibility. It takes time, effort and patience - he explains Angelo Gazzano, professor of veterinary ethology at the University of Pisa -. It shouldn't be an instinctive choice, especially when there is already a child in the house, but a well-considered decision. Consider your needs, the desire to engage in the puppy's education, the time and space available, the lifestyle you lead, the fact that the dog will stay with you for at least ten years and then decide responsibly " .
Is it better to buy a purebred dog or adopt a mutt?
The difference lies in the fact that you can know in advance the morphology of a purebred dog that it will have as an adult and some distinctive traits of the character. Things that are not always easy to understand in mongrel. In any case, keep in mind that the female is almost always less aggressive than the male.
If you opt for a breeding puppy, the breeds that are best suited to growing up with a child are the quietest, most balanced and sociable ones such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers, remembering that all dogs must be educated anyway.
If you want to adopt a mutt, you can go to a kennel and spend time with the puppy that seems suitable for you. But there are also many sites, for example www.dogwelcome.com or www.ilrandagio.com.
Read also: dog and children, the most suitable breeds
If the belief (and the obvious absence of hair allergies) remains, then you can proceed by asking a good veterinarian for information. He will be able to advise you on where to buy or adopt the puppy, on how to deal with the first moments with the newcomer, on what to do for his health.
"For a child, growing up with a dog is a joy and an enrichment - continues the teacher -. The relationship that he will be able to build with his four-legged friend will give him the tools to learn about the needs of others, to respect the different, to take responsibility for him ".
Furthermore, the animal develops the motor skills and agility of the child which imitates the postures and the way of walking. But for this relationship to grow in serenity, some rules are needed right from the start. The child, like the puppy, in fact, must be educated. "The parents, who will supervise the approaches between the two little ones, must make the child understand that the dog (or kitten) is not a toy. Therefore, the tails and ears must not be pulled and pinched. - Gazzano is recommended. they must teach that while an animal sleeps and eats it must not be disturbed. That the puppy also needs to have soft toys and puppets and those will be his only ". Even games based on screams, tugs, hands in mouth are not good, because they could foment the impetuosity of the animal.
A few rules of good manners, a little commitment and love and your child will have a friend who will give him a lot. (Read also: how to choose the dog of the house? And dog and cat, which one to choose?)
Children with dogs are less at risk of obesity
A study published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia concluded that having a dog reduces the risk of obesity in children. Australian researchers looked at more than 1.100 children between the ages of 5 and 12. The incidence of obesity among children with dogs is lower than in those without, even if the child does not regularly take him for a walk. For the authors, even just playing with the dog occasionally helps control weight. According to them, the same result probably occurs with other pets.
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