As sure as the sky is blue, your children are sooner or later bound to ask to get a puppy. They’ve seen friends, family members, and TV idols share companionship with 4 legged friends, and now they want a turn. However, getting a dog is a big choice and a massive commitment. Even if your kids kick, cry, and scream that it “isn’t fair,” you need to be the parent and consider if your entire family is ready for a four legged furry friend.

Kids are incapable of long term commitment

It’s important for you to remember that your children are essentially incapable of making and keeping a long term commitment. Sure, there’s a rare example here and there of a strangely adult-like child, but odds are this is not your kid. So, no matter how much your kids say that they will take care of the animal all by themselves, don’t believe them. It’s not that they are lying to you, it’s just that they are kids. Instead, you need to be 100% ready for this new long term relationship. If you’re not, then bringing a puppy into your home probably isn’t the best idea.

Kids don’t have jobs

Dogs are expensive, very expensive. Veterinarian costs are rising, quality food for Fido is pricey, pet insurance isn’t cheap, groomers aren’t free, your new furry friend will need toys, and more. All of these costs can easily equal $1,000 a year or more. This doesn’t include the cost of buying the pet from a breeder or shelter adoption fees. Even if your child is a prolific babysitter or lawn mower, there is certainly almost no way that he/she will have the cash to properly care for the puppy. In other words, you need to be financially prepared to front all of these bills. After all, letting the dog suffer because your child doesn’t bring home a decent salary just isn’t an option.

Kids are busy

A new dog in your home is akin to having a new child; Fido can tear up your yard, leave messes on the floor, get into food, knock over the trash can, get into fights with other animals, and even break your favorite lamp. This means that your dog will need a reasonable amount of supervision to ensure safety. Between school, homework, extracurricular activities, friends, and just being a kid, it’s likely your child will not have the time to clean up after the puppy nor take it on multiple walks a day. Before bringing that dog home, you need to be sure that you do have the time.

Kids aren’t professional trainers

Without the proper training, there’s a very real possibility that your sweet little puppy can turn into a very real nightmare. While most kids dream of teaching their dog to sit, shake, lay down, and even burp the ABC’s, these are just the beginning of a properly trained pooch. In reality, your dog needs to be carefully socialized and taught to walk on a leash, come when called, drop items when told, to not jump on company, resist barking endlessly, and more. All this training takes patience and discipline; let’s face it, those aren’t qualities children are known for.