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Teaching Children How to Care for Pets

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From the moment your family laid eyes on that adorable, doe-eyed puppy or that frisky little kitten, you knew you just had to bring one home.  No doubt, the precious little critter will fill your hearts with love and devotion for many years to come, but unless you plan to be on 24 hour pet patrol, involve your children in every aspect of planning and caring for the animal, right from the start.

Teaching Children How to Care for Pets

From the moment your family laid eyes on that adorable, doe-eyed puppy or that frisky little kitten, you knew you just had to bring one home.  No doubt, the precious little critter will fill your hearts with love and devotion for many years to come, but unless you plan to be on 24 hour pet patrol, involve your children in every aspect of planning and caring for the animal, right from the start. 

Not only does this give Mom and Dad a breather now and then, but anticipating a pet’s needs and assuming responsibility for meeting those needs helps kids to become responsible, caring individuals; traits that will serve them well as they begin to construct healthy, meaningful lives going forward.

Encourage everyone to attend the first veterinarian appointment.  A good doctor will appreciate this opportunity to educate kids on proper healthcare, handling, and nutrition for their new pet. 

Accompany children to your local pet store. Help them select food, treats, toys and dishes.  

List every task required for maintaining the pet’s well-being. This might include feeding, cleaning up pet waste, walking, brushing and bathing.  If there seems to be too much competition for the pet’s attention, this too, may need to be apportioned so the animal doesn’t feel too overwhelmed. 

Assign age appropriate tasks.  Small children may be too young to prepare food or clean a cage.  They might help with filling the water bowl, towel drying the pet’s coat after a bath, returning pet toys to a storage container, while older children may be entrusted with basic obedience training and gentle forms of discipline.

Tasks should be performed at the same time each day.  Not only do pets thrive with a consistent schedule, but children will learn to be more responsible when they have clear, uniform expectations. 

Always keep an eye on safety.  Instruct kids on avoiding rough play and teasing.  Make certain that small objects or toxic substances are stored out of harm’s way.

Children should be encouraged to feed the pet, even if they are not able to prepare the meal.  Feeding a pet is one of the most important ways to bond, most pets value their food enormously and the provider is a very important person in their lives.

Lastly, teach your children to be kind and patient. Your pet will reward them with an infinite amount of love in return.


Copyright © 2016 Linda S Mills

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I'm living a wonderful life in beautiful upstate NY and enjoying being a part of the Adirondack Mountains with my parrots, Captain, Ringo and Ziggy. I am a mom to 3 adult children and a grandmother to 4. It's my wish to you that through my blog that you, your family and friends will find the information on this site beneficial and life enhancing. I hope you will "like, share, and post" to help get the information out there so that many will benefit!
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