How many times have you had to answer the question: ‘Can we get a puppy?’ It’s up there with the most common questions asked by kids and usually results in a no from panicked parents.

While you might have considered all of the reasons you shouldn’t get a dog, is it time you opened yourselves up to the possibility? It could be a great decision for you and your family.

Take a look at these five great reasons to consider getting a dog.

1. They bring the family closer

Getting a pet can be a great bonding experience for the family, bringing you closer together as you welcome a new member into your home. Just like when you bring a new baby home, everyone will want to care and love your new dog, helping you all to bond as a result. This is a great idea if you have kids with long age gaps or you’re struggling to get a teenager’s attention – provided they all love dogs, of course!

2. It’s easier than ever to find the right pet

There are so many different ways you can get a dog today. Shelters are always in desperate need of people to adopt puppies and abandoned dogs, while classifieds are always full of people with puppies and pets for sale. You can even buy puppies from an online puppy store if you’re looking for a particular breed. However, you decide to find your dog, make sure you do your research and pick the right kind of pet for your family and lifestyle.

3. They can keep you healthy

There is a lot of research out there that shows that pets can keep you healthy, and dogs, in particular, can help you to stay active. Dogs need a lot of walking, which is something to consider before you commit, but that extra walking can significantly improve your fitness and give you an excuse to get outside, even on cold or rainy days. Long family walks with the dog are a fun way to keep you all active and help you to spend time together.

4. They become a member of the family

A dog will become an important member of the family, one who will be loved by everyone. They make great company when the house is quiet, especially when the kids start developing hobbies or turn into social teenagers! Having another member of the family around keeps your home warm and welcoming, and you’ll make lots of great memories together.

5. They can help kids be more sociable

There are many studies on the positive effects of having a dog. For kids, they offer many benefits, including helping them to become more sociable. Having a dog can help them interact better with others, while also being a good way to form friendships and bonding. Dogs can also teach children to empathize and become more confident, so getting a dog could really help with their development.

While there are many reasons to consider getting a dog, you also need to weigh up the reasons not to get one to help you make the best decision. If you do decide to go ahead, remember that dogs are man’s best friend after all, and could be the thing that’s been missing from making your family complete.