family pet

The Benefits Of The Right Family Pet Might Amaze You

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The Benefits Of The Right Family Pet Might Amaze You

For three years, my daughter prayed and longed for a dog. Not just any dog, but a Siberian Husky. She went as far as creating an entire researched presentation (persuasive style no doubt), to convince my husband and me to agree to get a new family pet.

Her presentation was complete with everything we would possibly need to know — grooming information, behavior traits, and how the dog would fair in our climate. No details left out. Complete with visuals.

She is a natural animal lover our daughter, but we were skeptical. We had previous small dogs over the years, and they usually became more of a responsibility than a beloved member of the family. Our family had recently moved and were without a dog; we decided to keep it that way for a while. Our house was already pretty chaotic with two boys in diapers 14 months apart; we were not looking to add to that circus.

Our oldest didn’t give up. Even after years of us telling her that we just weren’t ready to take on a new family pet, she remained hopeful. She continued to hold onto her biggest life’s dream as a teen girl that eventually she would have a dog as her best friend.

family pet

Let’s face it; adolescence can be tough! The journey could be much sweeter with a companion.

Sure, she had companions – friends, brothers, and family; but who could she give all her love to? The kind of love and nurturing that teen girls have, but certainly don’t want to give to just anyone. She imagined this dog could be her best friend above all others. The best friend we wish we all had, one without judgment and bursting with unconditional love for us.

My husband and I have always wanted our children to have a traditional family pet experience. After many discussions with our 14-year-old, we decided the time had come. We laid the ground rules, talked about all the expectations and what-ifs. We gave the green light.

God has a beautiful way of answering our prayers and lining up situations better than we could ever have expected.

We found the perfect dog for our family soon after we decided to begin looking. And so far we have been amazed by all of the unexpected benefits of having a family pet.

Meet Gray.

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Almost 3 years ago my oldest created a presentation for our family and tried to persuade us to buy a siberian husky. ⠀ ⠀ She shared well researched information about siberian huskies, and her presentation was memorable.⠀ ⠀ But with 2 babies in diapers we didn’t want to add to the chaos. ? We told her once the boys were a little older we would think about it. ⠀ ⠀ She was patient and sometimes felt discouraged. But she waited and allowed our family to have an ongoing dialogue about what it means to be responsible for a pet for a long time. ⠀ ⠀ Last week her dream became a reality and we adopted Gray. Named after one of her favorite book characters of course. ?⠀ ⠀ Good things come to those who wait Jules❤️ ⠀ ⠀

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Our Unexpected Benefits Of Owning A Family Pet

  •  Responsibility. Not only do our children get to experience the typical duties of owning a dog, but also the tasks that arise when the dog is sick or hurt. They have learned to be responsible when their pet needs them most, beyond the day-to-day responsibilities.
  •  Compassion. Our children are learning to be compassionate in a way I am not sure we could have “taught” them to be. It’s difficult to teach compassion. But because of the unconditional love they have for Gray, they are naturally more compassionate and attentive.
  •  Love. Their love continues to grow for our dog, and sadly, we know he won’t be with us forever. They will get to experience real-life love and loss eventually. Obviously, we don’t want them ever to experience loss, but it is a natural part of life. I also see the kids giving so much love and attention to the dog. It makes me smile to know that they can have a companion to give all of their love to. This creates positive vibes for our entire household.
  •  Happiness. What is it about taking in a pet that fills your children’s hearts with authentic joy every time they interact with it?
  • Kindness. Our younger boys needed a little help in learning how to be kind, and having a dog is great training for our family to practice kindness. 
  •  Serving Others. Our entire family got a chance to save this animal through adoption. We got to experience what it is like to offer another living thing a better life under better conditions. Animal adoption was a an excellent opportunity for our children to serve another and open their home to Gray.
  •  Behavior. I have one child that is highly sensitive, and I have watched his behavior change for the better since we took Gray in. He has taken to the dog, and I am amazed that an animal can soothe him the way he does. I anticipate this will only get better with time.

We didn’t just willy-nilly start looking for a pet. We researched and talked a lot! A lot. The most crucial element to choosing the right family pet is research and communication. Here are a few tips that helped us make the most of adopting a dog.

family pet

Tips To Help You Choose The Right Pet For Your Family

Communicate: Discuss as a family what type of pets you all are interested in. Create pro and con lists, talk about hypothetical scenarios, and work through them. Discussions among the family can take months or like in our case, even years. Make sure you have talked it all out and that everyone is on the same page.

Responsibility: You will probably need to go over all of the duties and delegate who will be doing what – before the new pet arrives. Knowing what to expect before you take on the new addition will help cut down on any confusion.

Patience: Take your time. Especially if you will be visiting adoption centers, it can take weeks or months until you find what may be the best match for your family.

Expectations: Explain to your children that you are going to start looking for a dog, and that takes time. Try to ease them through the process as much as possible; they will naturally be disappointed as they leave the adoption centers empty-handed.

family pet

I hope that this article encourages you to consider adopting a new family pet. There are so many benefits and life lessons to be had. Enjoy the learning process along with your children and use the adventure to gain knowledge and understanding.

With all of this talk about dogs and family pets, I want to tell you about this delightful new wholesome movie called “Belong To Us.”  It’s a wonderful family-friendly movie that you can all enjoy.

family pet

The movie will warm your heart as you watch this sweet family take in a dog with an unfortunate past. This family also receives some unexpected benefits of acquiring a new family pet.

Belong To Us is Dove approved and received the Family Favorite Award for ages 12+. The Dove foundation is a non-profit that supports and creates wholesome family entertainment. You can watch a trailer of the movie here.

Even better, I have paired up with them to GIVEAWAY 2 Copies of Belong To Us! Woot 2 lucky winners will get their own copy to keep. #BelongToUs

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Comments

  1. Beth

    We don’t have a “pet”, but foster/train a service dog in training. She is a 10-month-old golden retriever. Even though she is not ours to keep, the experience of having and loving her—despite knowing she will one day move on from our home to bless a child with a disability—is worth the sadness we will all experience when she graduates into advanced training.

  2. Jennifer

    Thanks for the read! Our family just recently adopted a dog and well and she’s been such a blessing to our family!

  3. Aimee

    My daughter sounds just like your daughter. She is only six but she’s been campaigning for a dog for years and I really think the right dog would be very calming for her emotionally. I think we’re a still few years away from taking the plunge, but I’m definitely going to share this article with my husband. You’ve outlined all the benefits so eloquently. Thank you!

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