Lately I have been consumed with the idea of getting a dog. I have not had one in years, but lately I have had a seriuos itch. I think it would be nice to have one around again for company on walks and at home, and for a feeling of security when we come home. My DS is 26 mos old and pretty sturdy. He likes the dogs in the extended family which range from med to lg in size. He does NOT like having his face licked, but they don't do that very often. As we have been searching for the right rescue dog to adopt, he has not been very interested in any of the dogs we have met. My sister has been trying to convince me that this means he is not ready, and if i get one he will resent the time and attention it demands and wind up disliking dogs. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
How to decide if my toddler is old enough for a dog?
I highly doubt he will dislike dogs... READY? Many people have dogs with newborns! I would just research the breed and get to know the dog to make sure he is kid friendly- and go for it. They will grow up together and love each other I think. My kids would love a dog- but we have cats and I just can't afford a dog.
We had a dog already when our twins were born, and he loved the babies. But we waited until they were 7 until we got another puppy. It wasn't because our kids weren't ready - it's because DH and I knew how much time and commitment a puppy requires, and we wanted to wait until we could ignore the boys (for short time periods) to focus on the puppy, whose needs were frequent and immediate.
Even an older dog requires a lot of time while he's adjusting to living with you. We bought an 18-month-old dog last fall, and we (DH and I and our now-teenage sons) devoted a lot of our time and energy to the dog for the first few weeks he was with us. He takes less of our time now, but still requires daily walks, regular brushing, training, and attention.
It would be hard for me to juggle the immediate needs of a dog with the immediate needs of a toddler - the baby would obviously come first, at the dog's expense.
As a thought, if you get a dog, you should get a dog for the family. Don't ever think that you're getting a dog for the child.
I don't know about everywhere, but many rescue organizations have regulations on how young children can be to place a dog in the home. One specefic breed rescue we looked in to at one time had a youngest child regulation of 5.