Teaching children the responsibility of caring for pets

When you bring a pet home it is going to be part of the family and every family member should have a chance to become involved in looking after it. If your child is old enough, allow him to spend quality time with the new pet under your supervision. This will encoourage them both to develop a relationship which will not only be reassuring for the pet but will also teach your child ways of becoming a responsible pet owner.

From the initial journey of the pet into your home to helping it become used to the area where it will live should be a process in which the child is allowed to participate fully. Contrary to what some people might think, children enjoy being given responsibility and looking after a pet can provide them hours of joy and fun. In addition they learn that the pet has needs which will need fulfilling even if it means giving up the television or the computer game to fulfill them.

I can remember how excited my daughter was when we decided to bring a pet rabbit home and she would help me clean his hutch and feed him. The first thing she would do when she came back from school would be to check if “Noodle” was okay and if he had done anything new that day.

It is important to remind children of the importance of caring and loving animals. Encourage them to watch programmes on animals as this will educate them while being entertained at the same time. I would take my daughter to the pet store with me so she could learn the practical side of keeping our pet’s health in peak condition. I also bought her a book to read on rabbits and before long she was offering me advice and tips on how to look after Noodle better!

If you have a pet dog take your child to the park when you walk the dog. It is important to teach the child basic control commands in case a situation develops where the child is alone with the dog and has no idea how to keep it in check.

Teaching your child how to love animals and care for them helps them become responsible and unselfish human beings. In return the pet gives them back unconditional love which is always rewarding and a joy to receive.

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