Raising a Dog Is Like Raising a Kid – What’s One More Mouth to Feed?

dog

There is a good deal of controversy over whether or not raising dogs can be likened to raising children and while there are those who contend they are nothing alike, others say they are! Actually, in many respects raising a dog really is much like raising a kid with one minor difference! Dogs have four legs to chase and kids only have two! If you are looking for the perfect pet to bring home to Johnny or Susie, get a dog. There is no better pet to raise with the kids and as quickly as they form a bond, you’ll know you made the right choice. So, what’s one more mouth to feed?

Speaking of Food

When it comes to feeding a dog, there are some things you should be aware of. Many dog owners swear off all dog foods that have corn, wheat or soy in their formulas. The reason for that is because, just like in foods for human consumption, those three grains are known to have been largely re-engineered with GMO, Genetically Modified Organisms. In fact, some studies have absolutely proven that dog food with corn as a major ingredient has led to the growth of tumors, a relatively new phenomenon since the developments of Monsanto et al. If you look at any of the most popular top dog food brands you will find that none have those three ingredients in their formulas.

Table Manners

Now that you’ve decided what kind of food to buy your dog and what kind to avoid, it’s time to start teaching both kids and dogs a few table manners. How would you react if you had company and your child kept staring at your guests during dinner, salivating and getting ever nearer in hopes of getting a morsel off their plates? You’d be highly embarrassed, wouldn’t you? Teach your dog the same table manners you would teach a child and get the best bowls for dogs. No begging and please go in the other room while the adults are chatting/eating. Don’t eat what doesn’t belong to you and for heaven’s sake, stay out of the garbage. If you think kids will not forage through trash if they see a candy wrapper, you probably have never had a child! Dogs and kids will forage until they are taught table manners.

Potty Training

What puppy hasn’t had an accident or two in the home? It’s natural that they will need to relieve themselves, and unlike humans, they can’t reason why they shouldn’t be lifting their legs at the front door! Why do you think puppy potty training pads are so popular? Just as you would slowly potty train your toddler to use the commode in lieu of a diaper, you would train puppy to ask to go outside in lieu of that ever-present puppy pad. Some creative parents even undertake the two at the same time so the friends can learn together.

Play Time

And again, just as you would schedule play time daily for that special ‘together time’ between mom and kid or dad and kid, so too would you schedule play time for puppy. Some parents make this a joint venture and take both kids and dogs to the doggy park. Whether you choose to have play time indoors, out in your back yard or at the park, it is imperative that you get good, quality play time in with kids and dogs. This is one of the most important shared activities that will lead to an almost unbreakable bond.

Dogs, like children, bond with their caregivers, so in creating that bond, do so in a friendly, easy going atmosphere. You’ve heard the expression “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The same holds true with dogs, with one minor alteration. “All work and no play makes Fido a mischievous boy.” Lack of attention and play time often leads to a session with the garbage while you are looking the other way, so make sure that doggy gets ample rest prior to retiring for the evening. Your garbage bin will love you for it!

Behavior Modification

No, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your dog’s behavior be fixed that quickly. Look how long and hard you worked with your kids to get them to act appropriately. Don’t you think you will be working just as hard as when training your dog? It pays to learn behavior modification for dogs just as you did for your children! Learn how and when to use treats to reward good behavior and how to make the switch to a “good dog” pat on the head so they don’t expect a reward every time they do the desired behavior. Learning to train your dog is an art, just like training kids so anyone who claims they are nothing alike probably never had kids!

Dogs and Kids Thrive in a Loving Atmosphere

Both dogs and children thrive in a loving atmosphere. Both will somehow be stunted or stifled if not given the love and attention they need, so keep this in mind. Raising a puppy really is no different than raising a kid and if you ever hope to forge that unbreakable bond, give them all the love in your heart. There is no one more loyal that a well-loved dog and there is ample evidence to support the fact that kids raised in loving homes fare better in every aspect in life than those who were neglected and/or abandoned.

Love is the key ingredient in raising both kids and dogs and it is the one surefire way to know that you are doing everything in your power to give them a good home. From teaching your dog table manners to potty training and everything in between, do it with love and your efforts will be rewarded. The only difference between raising a kid and raising a dog, then, is the number of feet you’ll have to chase when they’ve suddenly become a little more independent than you are prepared for. But then again, with the right behavior mod tricks up your sleeve, neither should be a problem. Enjoy the new additions to your family. You’ll soon see just how alike they are.

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