3 Ways To Teach Kids How To Care For Pets

Posted by Stephanie Snyder on June 13th, 2021

Introduction

Many people compare getting a dog to having another child. Of all the different options you can go to, dogs are probably the go-to. Dogs distinguish from other pets because there is a lot to them. They usually carry the most responsibility in terms of daily care, attention, and maintenance. They do, however, have the most significant potential for teaching your children valuable lessons about unconditional love, loyalty, and commitment.

Getting Them Ready

Even if you believe you are getting a dog for your child, you must recognize and acknowledge that you, as the parent, are the primary caregiver for the dog. Of course, this is not to say that your child should not share responsibility for the dog.

But, before you get any pet, there are some things you should probably do to make sure your child learns that caring for the animal is a family effort:

What You Might Need Before Getting a Pet

Even if getting a dog is a foregone conclusion in your household, it's a good idea to assess your child's readiness for pet care. Of course, giving your child specific responsibilities is dependent on his age and level of ability. Even so, very young children (between the ages of 4 and 6) should be able to understand and practice the fundamentals of caring for your pet.

If your child can pick up his toys and easily follow basic instructions, you can list or draw pictures of daily tasks like walking, brushing, and feeding. Place the list in a room that the child frequents daily and inform him that you expect him to complete (or assist with) the items on the list. For more easily distracted or less responsive children, you may want to skip the list and have them do the tasks with you daily.

A Family Pet

Having a pet brings great joy to a family. They become part of the family. If you have kids, it is essential to teach them how to care for pets. Not only does it help teach children responsibility, but knowing how to care for a pet will benefit them when they are older.

Seek out opportunities for your children to engage with pets. Show children how to approach pets safely and how to treat them with respect. Young children may fall into the trap of treating pets like toys, resulting in retaliation from the pet in the form of gnawing or misbehavior. Keep this danger in mind when you're out and about different petting animals. Most pets you see on the street are probably harmless, but this is not always the case.

You will probably want to hire a trainer to help you domesticate your pet and acclimate him to his new surroundings. If you lack the experience or time to train your pet to listen to and obey basic commands, a trainer can assist you in creating a safe environment in which your child and your pet can become acquainted.

Include Your Kids In The Adoption Process

It is often helpful to include your kids in adopting a pet. One reason for this is that the bonding process is vital for both the kids and the pet. There are times when looking at kittens or puppies when one of them grabs your heart, and you know that it is the one you want to take home. Including kids in the adoption process will help them to learn the bonding process early. This is because the first part of caring for a pet is knowing you have the right one.

How To Properly Treat A Pet

When you have pets, you need to know how to treat them properly. One thing that is tempting to do with a pet is to smother them with love. This exists for adults as well as kids. No matter how affectionate the cat or dog may be, they will want their own space from time to time. When this happens, you need to give it to them, and children need to learn this. You can spend time with pets by just playing with them when they are in a playful mood. When you are showing affection to your pets, you do not want to hug them too tightly. A new pet also needs time to get used to their new surroundings and you.

Provide Them With Helpful Information.

It is beneficial to provide your children information about their pets. There are many books on taking care of cats, dogs, and other animals. There are also lots of online resources. Having good information about the type of pet you have will help your children know how to care for them properly.

Assign specific duties in caring for pets.

Having specific duties for your children to care for your pets more than anything else helps them learn how to care for them. That is because things like feeding them, walking a dog, changing a cat's litter box are all responsibilities that have to be shared. These will quickly become skills after practicing them for a little bit. It is even helpful if you have more than one kid but one pet to rotate the care duties. If there are many children at home or multiple pets, each kid can have a pet they are responsible for.

Included In A Pet's Medical Care.

Including your children in a pet's medical care is an essential part of teaching them to care for pets. This could include teaching them how to save money and other benefits of pet insurance. It also includes taking the kids along on vet visits. One reason is that the death of a pet is likely to be a kid's first experience with death, and it does not help to shield them from it. Including your kids in vet visits will allow them to see the complex parts of having a pet.

Teaching your kids how to care for pets gently is an integral part of growing up. It helps them to learn responsibility, along with a lot of other life lessons. Pets bring a lot of joy into your life, but they can also bring sadness. Teaching your kids about both will help them throughout their lives.

 

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Stephanie Snyder

About the Author

Stephanie Snyder
Joined: May 17th, 2021
Articles Posted: 87

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