Every parent anticipates the day when their child comes home with an abandoned animal, either a cat or a dog, and asks in all their childlike wonder, “Can we keep it?” It can be hard to make a decision, but consider this: a child who has effectively learned to care for a pet during their childhood will make them happier and well-adjusted adults. However, saying yes generally means that you will have to spend the time teaching your children about all the responsibilities there are when you own a pet. You need to teach your child how to groom, feed, walk and even train their pet, which can be an exhaustive process. Yet, teaching children how to take care of their pets can be a formative and exciting process nonetheless. Here are 5 tips for teaching kids how to care for their pets.
1. One great way to successfully teach kids how to care for their pet is to get them motivated about teaching it different tricks. In addition, this is a great way to get children to spend the time that is necessary to train a pet, which can be especially important if it is a dog, because it needs to be housebroken and learn basic commands. So while your child is teaching Fido how to “stay,” he or she can also teach Fido how to “fetch” and “roll over” too.
2. Also, it is important for your children to understand that most pets need some sort of physical exercise. This is especially important if your family owns a dog. In this case, make going on a walk fun. Find an enclosed dog park, make a play-date out of it, bring a tennis ball or if you have back yard it can be plenty fun to run around with your pet until both your child and pet are exhausted.
3. You can also find plenty of books that children can read that can teach them the basics of pet owner ship. If you search the Internet or the local bookstore, you are sure to find a book with a child friendly reading level. Or you can make your own book or manual with lots of pictures so that you can relate to your child on a more personal and familiar level.
4. It is also crucial that you teach your kids how to regularly feed their pet. This can mean getting the food prepared, making sure there is an ample supply of water and even making sure the bowls are clean. You can find pet supplies now from a number of sources that have bowls, food, and other fun items that make feeding time fun.
5. Lastly, quite possibly one of the most important parts of pet ownership is making sure your child’s pet is clean. If you child owns a dog and the weather is nice outside, you can fill a kiddie pool full of water or use a hose – child and pet can get clean together.