I’ll bet your children are excited for a forever friend, but they also probably have a lot of questions about us. They’ll probably wonder things like: What will it feel like to own a dog? How often do dogs use the bathroom? Do dogs fart? How long do dogs sleep? What do dogs smell like? Do dogs get haircuts? Will dogs eat popsicles? Will my dog try to steal my popsicle? Can I train a dog to do my chores?
Kids, like us dogs, are curious creatures. They might not smell rear ends as often as we do, but they still want to know what’s happening in the world around them. After talking to Madden, an 8-year-old human friend of mine, we put together this short list of facts about dogs for kids to read.
How Often Do Dogs Go to the Bathroom?
Well, for starters, we don’t actually use the bathroom – we go outside! Ha-ha. Sorry, dog humor.
Seriously, though: How often do you go to the bathroom? Just like children, all dogs have different bathroom needs and schedules. Some dogs use the bathroom once a day, other dogs use the bathroom 12 times a day. Sometimes, dogs only pee when they use the bathroom. Sometimes, they let loose a few smelly turds. And sometimes, dogs may do both!
If you’re getting a puppy as a pet, you and your family will need to learn how to potty-train us! Just like toddlers need to learn how to use the bathroom, so do we! We might have accidents in the house when we are learning, so have some patience and help your parents clean up! While training your new furry family member, take him outside a lot so he has the chance to use the bathroom, but remember to always ask your parents for permission first before going outside.
WIll the Dog Bite Me?
Possibly, but hopefully not. Just like you can’t tell what kind of mood your big sister will be in when she wakes up in the morning, you can’t always predict a dog’s mood. This is why it is always good to approach a new dog with caution. If you meet a new four-legged friend in the park or on a walk, always ask the dog’s owner if it’s safe to pet him. When you do pet him for the first time, approach slowly and calmly. We get spooked easily!
If you respect your dog’s boundaries, he won’t want to hurt you, either. Oh, but when we’re puppies, we really like to nibble. So, while we’re playing with you, we might get a little … toothy. We’re not trying to hurt you, we just use our mouth to play, too! Make sure to slow down the game and correct us firmly – but nicely – when we get nibbly. Training is very important for new pets. We need your family to tell us what the house rules are, and once we know, we’ll try our hardest to behave.
What Do Dogs Like to Eat?
Treats, treats, treats!
Really, we do love treats. They taste so yummy, and we just want to eat them all of the time! If my parents let me, I’d do tricks all day to earn treats. If you and your family are working on training your new dog, it might be a good idea to give him treats if he follows your training commands.
Besides treats, we also like to eat regular meals (unless we’re already full from all of the treats!). Some dogs eat once a day, some eat twice, and other dogs eat multiple times per day.
And don’t forget the water. Water is our favorite! Especially cool water. Oh, we love it, and it keeps us hydrated. Hydrated dogs are happy and healthy dogs!
Make sure to ask your parents how often your new dog can be fed. Overfeeding your dog is never a good idea, and could give him a really bad tummy ache. Also, there are some human foods that are very bad for us, so be sure to ask your parents what your new dog must stay away from!
How Often Do Dogs Sleep?
We sure like to get our rest! Most dogs are known for being big sleepers, though the precise amount of shuteye hours we get is largely based on breed and age. Puppies, like babies, need to get a lot of rest. Some little puppies get about 18 hours worth of sleep in every day! Large breed dogs like Saint Bernards also get about 18 hours of rest every day. On average, most dogs sleep at least half of the day. But dogs don’t necessarily sleep as soundly as humans and children do. I know I don’t!
Often, dogs nap for short periods of time before waking up and then falling back asleep again. Your dog might doze for 20 minutes, and then get up for a drink of water before he finds a comfortable place to drift off to sleep again. You might also notice that your dog’s ears are perked up while he is lying down with closed eyes. This is probably because he’s resting, but paying attention to everything that is going on around him. We’re curious creatures, remember?
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Great question. There are many reasons why dogs make whining or barking noises. Sometimes we do it to get your attention. We can’t speak like you do (and if we could, do you think we’d speak English, or a different language?) so, instead, we get your attention by making other noises. Sometimes, we whine or bark to let you know we have to go outside. Sometimes we do it because our toy is stuck somewhere (like under the couch) and we need your help getting it out. Sometimes we do it because we really want you to get down on the floor with us and give us a belly rub.
And other times, dogs bark out of anger or anxiety. If someone new enters our yard, we might bark to alert you that a stranger is around. Also, if a human or animal that we are afraid of is near us, we might bark at them. Sometimes, dogs that are close to each other, but not super close, might even seem to be having a barking conversation, but that’s secret dog-code stuff that I can’t tell you any more about!
Have you introduced your child to a pet? What type of questions did they have, and what type of answers did you share with them? Are there any other facts about dogs for kids you’d share with them?
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