This is a Guest Post by Ariane Franke.
Having grown up surrounded by dogs, I can truly say that my childhood would not have been the same without them. As a little girl, I was taught how to respect animals first hand. As I grew up, my dogs protected me. They looked after me. When I was upset, they shared in my sadness and provided me with a sympathetic ear to cry to and a warm and inviting body to cuddle up with. When I was happy, they shared in my joy, bounding about and grinning away. When they got old and sick, they taught me how to cope with death and how to learn about life.
And now that I do not live at home anymore, the dog I once saw every day is even more grateful for my return, giving me unconditional love the moment I walk through the front door. There is no doubt that having a dog can be so rewarding, especially as you are growing up and learning about the ways of the world.
When getting a new dog, there is one extremely important tip you should follow. Make sure you keep all environments clean – particularly ones that are visited by both the children and the dog. If possible, you may even want to keep separate rooms for the dogs and children to pay in.
Both children and dogs have a habit of getting covered in dirt and germs, and bringing germy disgusting things back into the house. This can be bad for both of them. If your child manages to bring home a parasite from playing with a friend’s dog, your dog could catch it, and be plagued with dry skin complaints, which can cause discomfort to your dog. Similarly, it is important to make sure you keep your dog’s skin well moisturised with the right oil to prevent it from getting dandruff – the small particles of skin lost can be particularly irritating for little noses and throats and can cause allergies later on. The same is important for hair loss and moulting – if your child is exposed for a prolonged amount of time to an environment that is covered in dog hair, they may become more easily irritated by it.