21 Tips For Introducing Children to a New Puppy

15 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
May 01, 2023

A black puppy with white paws licks a girl wearing a pink shirt lying down

So, you've decided to add a new furry member to your family!  Congrats! A new puppy can bring endless amounts of joy and laughter into your life. As an adult, you’ve asked yourself if you’re ready for a puppy and have prepared your home to welcome a puppy. That’s great – and responsible of you!

Not all dog breeds are the best fit when young kids are involved. You’ve been careful to do your research on the best dog breeds for families with children and breeds that make great family pets. If you’re worried about security for your children, you’ve also looked into the best family guard dogs for kids

But before you jump in paws-first, you need to introduce your kids to the newest addition to your home. This special time can be quite an adventure, but with a little patience and a lot of love, it's sure to be a success. 

Ensuring your little ones understand that owning a dog is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Don’t just assume everything will work out naturally when you introduce your new puppy to your children. In addition, always supervise your kids and puppies together! Never leave them in a room for them to figure out things by themselves. That’s a recipe for disaster!

It will take a lot of patience and hard work, but by preparing your kids for a new puppy, you’ll have lifelong bonds in the making in no time. 

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21 Factors to Consider When Introducing Your Children to a New Puppy

Read through all of these to be as prepared as possible when having your kids meet and interact with your newest family member. You wouldn’t want to miss something you hadn’t thought of! These ideas are meant to ease into puppy ownership with kids as smoothly as possible. 

1. Have a family meeting

Even if you have young children, everyone in the household can get on board when it comes to raising a happy, healthy puppy. Explain all the big responsibilities a family needs to share to take care of your new puppy. Then decide together who will do what. Emphasize it’s a lifelong commitment to making sure our new furry friend has the best life possible. 

For example, who will walk the puppy and dispose of the waste? Who will feed the puppy? Who will keep up with vet appointments, medications, or pet sitters? There is something for everyone to do. Even a toddler can help put a scoop of food in the bowl. Make it fun by designing a chore chart everyone can reference and rotate duties.

2. Explore resources

Check out available resources online or in your community to help prepare your kids for a new puppy. Consider enrolling your children in a training class for kids and dogs. These classes can teach children how to train and interact with their new puppy in a positive and effective way.

Read books or watch videos about owning a puppy with your children. This can help them understand what to expect and get excited about the new addition to your family.

Interview friends and family with puppies. They’ll be happy to discuss things no one tells you before you become a puppy owner so that you are prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly!

3. What’s in a name?

Naming your puppy is the next big step after you find your puppy! Make sure you involve your kids in what names to choose from when deciding what to call your puppy. The majority rules (and parents have the last say). You don’t want a puppy named “Doo doo head” or who knows what else your kids will come up with!

4. Establish a routine

Just like children, puppies thrive on a routine. It teaches them what to expect next and also gives them a sense of rhythm. Kids can get involved by writing out a routine for their puppy. Your puppy will need to sleep, go to the bathroom, play, go to the bathroom, eat, go to the bathroom – see a pattern? It’s really not unlike raising a child, is it? 

You can absolutely integrate your puppy’s routine with the kids’ daily flow. Wouldn’t it be nice if all the kids and your puppy were sleeping peacefully so you could finish that cup of coffee in peace from a few hours ago? Yes, yes it would!

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5. Visit a puppy

Do you know someone with a puppy? Take your kids on a visit to meet a puppy! Even if you are getting a puppy as a surprise for your children, you can sneak in a puppy visit without suspicion. 

As they’re learning how to play with a puppy, you can tell them important information in between fetch sessions. Hearing tips from owners (and not from you) may have more of an impact, so talk to your puppy-owning friend beforehand to set up some conversation points. 

If you don’t know anyone with a puppy, try to find meet-ups of the breed you’re interested in. That way, your kids will have a better understanding of what an adult dog will look like and have a chance to interact with the breed’s temperament.

6. Calm bodies, calm voices

The big day has arrived, and it's time to introduce your kids to their new furry friend. Your kids may want to shout with delight, jump up and down, and immediately pick up the puppy. Not so fast! 

The key to your children meeting a new puppy is to take things slowly and let the puppy come to them. You don't want to scare your new little furball with a bunch of loud and boisterous children.

As your new pup waddles into the room, your kids' eyes will light up with excitement. But it's important to remind them to stay calm and quiet so the puppy doesn't get overwhelmed. This might be easier said than done, but hey, it's worth a shot.

7. Show your kids how to properly pick up a puppy

If you’ve ever seen a preschooler drag their favorite doll around by one arm, then you may cringe thinking of how they’d treat a living, breathing animal even when the intentions are good.

Before you bring home a puppy, teach your children how to handle and be around a puppy:

  • Children should sit down either on the floor or a secure piece of furniture when holding a puppy to avoid dropping it. 
  • Teach gentle touch, such as how to stroke a puppy at the shoulder and back instead of on the head and face, how to refrain from putting fingers or their face in your puppy’s face, and how to never squeeze a puppy when giving it a hug.
  • Help them learn to ask permission first from a supervising adult when they play with a puppy. This helps avoid conflicts, accidents, and reckless behavior that could be dangerous to both your puppy and your children. 
  • According to Dr. Robin Downing, the safest way to pick up a puppy is to “slip one hand between the front legs from the front of the body, and slip the other hand between the rear legs from behind. Then lift them as a unit with their spine relatively straight.”

8. Leave correction to the adults

Kids may want to discipline a puppy if they do something a human perceives as wrong. Kids may yell or want to hit or spank a puppy. It’s your job to really emphasize that we never hit, kick, smack, or yell at a puppy! Puppies are still learning their new home and will naturally test boundaries, and your child should never use intimidation or physical aggression on your puppy. 

9. Puppies can make messes

Your children will know a thing or two about messes! Children may want to scold a puppy for making a mess, especially if the mess is particularly nasty when potty training your puppy. You may get to explain the inner workings of a puppy’s bowels, and that’s even more educational than simply cleaning up a mess! Oh, the joys of puppy ownership! 

Encourage your children to tell you about any messes they spot right away, as their method of cleaning up may be totally different from yours! In addition, it’s a great way to teach your children how to organize pet supplies and keep them in good shape. 

Get them involved in picking up the puppy’s toys, just like you do at the end of the day with their toys. Play a special clean-up song or make it a game to see who can put away the puppy’s toys the fastest. 

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10. Puppies get mouthy

Puppies love to chew and nip – it’s one way they explore their surroundings. In addition, puppies seek to chew when they are dealing with a sore mouth from puppy teething. Teach your kids not to encourage play biting because there is nothing cute about a grown dog chewing on children’s arms! 

Likewise, picking up the puppy’s toys will help prevent shoes or a loved item from being completely destroyed by curious teething puppies. We’d hate to see any child’s lovey be torn up by leaving it out unattended around a puppy!

11. Set aside a special area for puppy

Your puppy deserves a safe, secure, quiet spot that is just for them. Whether you use a crate or a sectioned-off area, teach your kids that this is the puppy’s special area to hang out, calm down, or take a nap. Kids should learn to respect their puppy’s space. This can help them feel safe and secure in their new environment.

12. Have arts and crafts time

Even if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, we know you’ll be successful at this one. Gather your kids around to make a DIY homemade dog toy or game for mental stimulation just for the puppy. Cut up old tee shirts and braid together the strips for a tug-of-war toy, or grab a box and help your kids decorate it for one of our box toy suggestions. Your kids will take pride in knowing they made something special for their new friend. 

13. Teach games for bonding

Choose a few simple games to teach your kids for when they play with their puppy, such as fetch or tug-of-war (depending on your kids’ ages). Easy games will help build confidence and forge a bond in both your children and your puppy while having fun in the process. 

As your kids continue to bond with their new pup, you'll start to see a special connection forming. They'll giggle at the puppy's silly antics and snuggle up with them during movie time. Before you know it, your kids will have a new best friend who will be by their side through thick and thin. 

14. Learn and teach simple commands

Depending on your children’s age, they can be taught the method you choose for teaching basic puppy training commands. Once you know which simple commands to begin with, start as soon as your puppy gets home. Your kids will squeal in delight when your puppy obeys them, and kids definitely like handing out treats! 

15. Involve kids in picking out supplies

Have your kids do some research by running a safe internet search or asking friends or family members what their favorite dog supplies for puppies are. It can be overwhelming thinking of the best leashes for your puppy, puppy harnesses that work, the right crate for your puppy, or even the best dog bed to fit your puppy. Older kids can choose high-quality products within the budget you come up with together. 

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16. Save the difference

With a new puppy comes new financial requirements. While most kids are too young to get into a line-by-line budget, you can still teach ways to prepare financially for a puppy with your kids. Have them select a toy and save up for it themselves doing odd jobs. Maybe they can help you think of gently used supplies to look for at neighborhood yard sales. 

Showing your kids they don’t always have to buy new or full-price items teaches them to be smart with money later on in life. And as your puppy grows, show them the power of donating outgrown or leftover items to rescue organizations or passing them on to a friend with a new puppy now that yours is growing up. 

17. Be aware of dangerous toxins

Some items that are safe for humans can actually be toxic and fatal to your puppy. While you should already have harmful chemicals stored away, it’s important to truly do what you can to avoid poisonous materials around your puppy

Not all foods are safe for your puppy, so you have to be vigilant when your kids are eating around your puppy. For example, cut-up grapes are a nice snack for kids, but did you know that grapes are very toxic to puppies? Above all else, keep chocolate and chocolate products far away from puppies because chocolate can be fatal to puppies!

18. Think like a puppy

Kids are going to be so excited to play with your puppy, but it’s important to teach your kids how to understand canine body language. Teach them to recognize the signs of your puppy needing to go to the bathroom, being overstimulated or overwhelmed, or just needing to take a puppy nap. Puppies don’t want to play all the time, so teaching kids your puppy needs a break is an important skill.

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19. “Babies don’t keep”

Have you heard the expression “Babies don’t keep?” While some of us want our babies to stay cute and little forever, Time is a thief, and they grow up so fast. Well, so does your puppy! Soon you’ll have a rapidly growing puppy that will change as soon as you blink.

Be sure to take lots of pictures and videos during this special bonding time. Your kids will enjoy referring to their puppy’s baby pictures, and you’ll cherish these special moments years from now, hopefully forgetting the bad parts and holding onto the good! 

20. Expect setbacks

Not everything is smooth sailing – just like raising children! There will be moments so magical that you think your heart is going to burst, but then there are those other times when you think your head is going to explode! 

It’s normal for puppies to progress and regress, just like children. These regressions can cause frustration for the whole family, but this, too, shall pass!

21. Above all, have patience!

It’s hard enough raising children, but things can get downright wild when you add a new puppy to the mix! There are going to be lots of body fluids from everyone, from tears to all sorts of accidents even when supervised.

Likewise, training both children and puppies on your expectations and how to act out in society can be a chore, but with consistent, hard work, you can raise well-adjusted children and puppies, we promise! 

If you are patient, steadfast, and roll with circumstances, you can have an overall great experience showing your children the unconditional love of a canine friend that will grow up with each other. 

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Avoid Puppy Scams and Puppy Mills When Finding a Puppy For Sale

Think very carefully about where you get your puppy from. Allowing your kids to surf the web with you on buy-sell-trade social media sites where anyone can post puppies is always going to throw red flags! They may fall in love with a puppy – but is it really the puppy you’ll get?

Dishonest people are out there trying to make money off people’s strong desires for a puppy. It’s important to know how to spot a puppy scammer to keep you (and your money) safe. 

Here are the dos and don’ts of buying a puppy to avoid heartbreak: 

  • Don’t go with the cheapest puppy out there. Raising a puppy for sale requires quality healthcare, sanitary kennels, and the expertise of an experienced breeder. If a puppy is at too cheap a price, you know for sure that the puppy is not receiving what it needs in a loving environment. 
  • Don’t ever pay with gift cards or unsecured apps. Your transaction won’t be protected, and you won’t get the benefits of using a secure payment method in case something goes wrong (which will 100% happen with puppy scams). 
  • Don’t assume you know anything about your chosen puppy’s health background. Oftentimes, puppies raised in puppy mills or with backyard breeders are missing information about their parents’ health, pedigrees, vaccinations, and more. Likewise, there is no puppy contract to protect you or your puppy in case something happens. 
  • Don’t buy a puppy from a pet store. They are often sourced from horrible puppy mills. These puppies won’t come with papers, and you’ll have no idea what terrible conditions they’ve lived in or if they’ve spent their puppyhood in a filthy cage away from grass, high-quality food, and socialization.

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Why Buy a Puppy For Sale For Your Kids Through Pawrade? 

If you want to avoid puppy scams and puppy mills, Pawrade is a great place to find a puppy for sale. Why? Read on to find out! 

  • Our prices reflect the professionalism of our breeders. Quality care, supplies, living conditions, and core vaccinations all puppies need cost money, but the expertise and love for puppies our breeders have is priceless. 
  • We partner with PetPay, a secure transaction platform that serves as a one-stop shop for all important transactional information, puppy contracts, health guarantee, and travel information. We will never ask for payment using gift cards, money grams, or unsecured apps.
  • All of our puppies come with a 3-year health guarantee, 30 days of MetLife insurance, and necessary paperwork that together put the health of your puppy first. Our puppy contract outlines the responsibilities of both you the new puppy pawrent and your responsible breeder. 
  • Pawrade abhors puppy mills and never even entertains the thought of just anyone partnering with us. We fight puppy mills by vetting all our breeders with a rigorous selection process. All of our breeders love what they do, providing a loving, sanitary environment that provides the necessary love and attention all puppies deserve. 

At Pawrade, we offer healthy, robust puppies for sale in all sizes that are wonderful companions for children. Pop some popcorn, gather around the computer, and start searching for your 4-legged best friend!


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Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

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