Okay, we all know dogs can be wonderful companions who give unconditional love. And if you’re a dog person like me, you can’t pass one on the sidewalk without giving it a big snuggle! But they’re also A LOT OF WORK, especially when you have young children at home. Before you consider welcoming a four legged friend into your home, consider the pros and cons. Maybe you’ll decide a fish is best for now?

PROS

As mentioned, dogs give unconditional love. They want nothing more than to make you happy, and feeling that kind of love is just the best thing in the world.

There’s nothing sweeter than seeing a young child bond with a new pet, especially as dogs can be so protective of their young charges. They’ll each have a friend for life, and a dog’s relationship with a child is pretty special.¬†And if you can get them to nap together, well, it doesn’t get cuter than that!

We love that taking care of a pet is a great way to teach a young child responsibility and the ability to care for another being other than themselves.

CONS

Did we mention they’re a lot of work? ESPECIALLY if you get a puppy, you might as well have added another child to your family. Puppies need all sorts of training and discipline. They can be a handful (albeit a cute one), just like your human baby.

Hair. Lots of hair. Everywhere. Depending on what kind of dog you get, of course, but it’s something to think about — especially if you have a baby that’s crawling.

All that love is wonderful, but it can also be a bit suffocating. Dogs typically like to lay by your feet or a few feet away while you’re just about anywhere in your house. All that closeness can be a bit much. Not to mention the walks, picking up poop, barking, whining…

A dog might have four legs, but it’s still one more mouth to feed. Consider the expense of a pet, which includes not only food, leash and toys but also vet visits and medicine when needed.

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Good luck with your decision! It’s true, dogs are a man’s best friend. Just think about the stage of life you’re in, and if you would truly be able to handle the extra responsibility of a new member of the family (and their cute wagging tail).