The Pet Decision: Why I MIGHT Get My Kids A Dog


Shhhh, don't tell my kids.

But I MIGHT get them a dog.

I say MIGHT because it is a big MAYBE, but I'm at least thinking about it.

The thing about parenting is that the longer you do it, the better you get.

Or the easier, or tired-er. I don't know.  Some days it's a toss up.

One of my favorite quotes is that when you know better, you do better. I attribute it to Maya Angelou and most days it's a great mantra for me.  It's enough to push me when I feel like giving up and also gives me the confidence that something I'm failing at won't be a permanent fail.

As for the dog conversation, I've had it oh, a thousand times since I first became a mom and I truly never thought it would be something I'd even consider.  But recently, I've been giving it some thought.

Let's start with the fact that when I was younger, I wanted a dog, got one for one day and then never had one again. Yes, one day, it's not a long story, but let's just say I come by my no dog rule the genetic way.  I had friends and family members who had pets of all sorts, but never one of my own.

As my kids aged, the asked for a pet and it became a running joke in the family that my husband suddenly developed an allergy around that time.  But now, as my kids are a little older, I've been thinking that it might be a good idea. 

First, there is some research that kids with pets do better in general. Understanding things like compassion and empathy. They are more physically active and also tend to be more obedient to their parents.

Then there's the idea that pets can help with mood management, stress reduction and produce all sorts of emotional improvements.  Improving self-esteem and communication are also high on the list according to experts in child psychology.

This still isn't a slam dunk, by any means. There's still plenty of downsides like cleaning poop, stinky dog breath and the idea of another body for me to care for, but it's still something worth thinking about.

Just don't tell the kids, yet.

Does your family have pets? Drop your favorite family pet ideas in the comments.