The number of dog adoptions across the country has skyrocketed as families continue to stay indoors and look for furry friends to reduce loneliness and add a bit of excitement to the daily routine.
If your kids have been “dogging” you to bring home a puppy — and you’ve been on the fence about whether it’s the right thing for your family — you might want to start by asking your kids to show you that they can be responsible dog owners.
As you know, dogs require a lot of time, responsibility, and financial resources. Help your kids understand this responsibility by providing them with a “doggy” bank. Like a piggy bank but for dogs, ask them to shade in the coins when they complete various chores. You can also add in your own chores for them to complete on the blank coins.
When they’ve shaded in all of the coins (and shown you that they’re willing to put in the work), you can bring home your new friend.
Dogs can be expensive, from the healthcare costs to the food, supply, and training costs. The ASPCA estimates that small dogs cost about $1,500 in the first year (excluding the initial purchase or adoption costs), and large dogs cost more than $2,000.
If a dog is outside of your family’s budget, try another pet that costs less. This budget tracker gives kids an idea of how much different pets cost, from ferrets and guinea pigs on the lower end of the scale to cats and dogs on the higher end.
Help them understand how much money your family has to work with, draw that out on the tracker and give them an idea of what companion is right for the family.
Download these printables to help your kids understand the costs and responsibility of owning a dog, and also check out the provided new dog owner checklist if you’ve decided that you’re ready to become a dog family.