How to Teach Kids to Care for Their Pets

Posted on 08 December 2016

Your pet, whether a dog, a cat, or a bird is always an important part of the family. It serves as a good companion or act as your stress buster when you come home from all in a day's work. Therefore it also deserves the right amount of care and comfort from you but with extra precautions when you have kids who are as eager as you are to take care of it.

Kids and their pet look cute all together in one picture. But apart from all the snuggling, you must let your kids do the share of taking care of them to instill a sense of responsibility and compassion to these God-given creatures. However, a few tips must be learned when you want them to take part of the pet chores.

Set Realistic Goals

As a parent, you must be aware enough that your child's age and maturity level must go hand in hand with the responsibilities he or she must be taking. Every child is different and some may even handle more responsibility at a younger age. Your 2 year old might be able to handle putting away pet toys or by just helping out in preparing food.

Do not teach anything drastic that might compromise your kid's safety and the innocent pet's calmness as well. Remember, you are not to put the entire duties to your kids but only to let them play a role in taking care of your pet.

Create Rules and a Simple To Do List

Making this list should also mean talking with your kids if the chores are easy for them to handle. Discuss the do's and don'ts that might change your pet's mood. Let them be aware of the importance and the consequences towards their pet if the chore was not done as being told (your dog might get too hungry and feel restless if time is not observed in feeding him). Reinforce to them positively to remember their tasks accordingly.

If you have two or more kids who can handle different chores already,it's best to have their duties rotated to feel that sense of unity and division of their responsibilities. Remember that whatever you do, kids will be watching you on how you also perform your task towards your pet.

A few of the following simple to do list for your kids:

  • Clean out the cage or the litter box
  • Replenish a clean set of water to drink
  • Putting away pet toys 

Introduce Simple Games and Activities With The Kids

Show them how to do tricks and rewards with their pets. This enhances motivation in interacting with them. Walk with them to the park or simply let the kids partake in bathing your dog in a small pool you both created. Don't let these activities go past by so fast. It should serve as a significant time between your dog and his humans.

Keep your kids updated by reading facts on what you can do together with your specific pet. Take your kids with you when you bring your pet to vet appointments. Even young children must learn the importance of vaccinations and regular vet examinations.

Safety and Precautions

Teach your kids to wash their hands properly before and after playing or feeding their pet. Let them be aware of the places they are allowed to feed or play with them. More importantly, teach them on what type of food to feed their pets. It is not only the kids' safety we are making sure of but of our friendly furs as well. Show to the kids how to touch or pat their pets calmly especially for the first time.

Additionally, remind your kids to keep your dogs on a leash or within the premises of your backyard or your cats to stay indoor. Do not make activities or games that will lead to open highways or streets.

As parents, supervise interactions at all times especially when you still have toddlers with you.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, you only not to teach your kids how to reward their pets for doing something good but to praise them as well in doing a remarkable job in taking care of them. This would give them a sense of fulfillment that they too can be a good pet owner.

Most importantly, it is going to be you, as a parent, who will feel more rewarded for training up a child on how to be responsible and compassionate enough for these loving creatures.

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