Before you get a dog have a family meeting

Before you get a dog have a family meeting

Before you get a dog have a family meeting to discuss who will look after Rover when you go on holiday? Photo: Shutterstock.com

So, you’re feeling the pressure from the kids to get a puppy or adopt a rescue dog?

Take a ‘paws’ before you search for cute puppies on the internet.  The first step is – before you get a dog have a family meeting! The whole family must be on the same page about taking on a puppy or adult dog.  This is tip one from our popular eGuide: Before You Get A Dog – 8 essential tips to get it right. 

The purpose of the family meeting is to openly discuss everyone’s views and concerns.  We list 11 things to discuss at your family meeting before you get a dog.  

Elizabeth’s heart breaking story

Elizabeth’s family (husband and three young children) talked about getting a pet dog though it wasn’t an imminent decision. One day, whilst out shopping, they passed by a pet shop window and were immediately taken with the gorgeous little puppies inside. One in particular, a Cavalier King Charles/Shitzu, caught their attention and fell immediately in love. By the end of the day they had brought the puppy home and named him Archie.

It was not long before Elizabeth began to feel the family had rushed into getting a puppy without due consideration. Although Elizabeth has a wonderful husband and son who helped with Archie, the ultimate care of the pup fell on her. Over time, Elizabeth began to feel anxious and stressed caring for him and she started to begrudge him.  And that worried Elizabeth and her husband.

The situation did not ultimately improve; and so the family eventually came to the conclusion that it was best for Archie to find him another home.  The right family came along and after an extensive trial period, it was agreed that Archie would be formally adopted by his new family.

It was heartbreaking to see how upset my children and husband were when we handed over Archie’ said Elizabeth.

Elizabeth’s no.1 tip – Have a family conference BEFORE you get a dog and weigh up the pros and cons. Every family member should be involved.

Before you get a dog have a family meeting  – 11 things to discuss

  1. How will a dog fit into our household’s lifestyle?
  2. How will a new dog get along with existing pets?
  3. Who will have the time and patience to toilet train, crate train and socialise the puppy?
  4. Who will walk, feed and groom the dog ?
  5. Who will supervise young children every time they are interacting with the puppy/dog?
  6. Where will the dog be housed? Where will the crate be located inside our house?
  7. What modifications to the house are needed for  indoor-outdoor access and keeping your pet safe?
  8. Who will take your puppy/dog to dog training classes?
  9. What happens to Rover when you go on holidays?
  10. Emergency vet bills – unforeseen veterinary treatment can cost up to $5,000 plus.
  11. Who will care for your dog if or when you are no longer able to?

Before you get a dog, download our FREE eGuide: Before you get a dog – 8 essential tips to get it right!