Teaching children the responsibility of caring for pets – Part 8

Deciding to bring a pet in to the home when you have children can be a daunting thought, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Children can be taught the responsibilities of caring for a pet whether the pet is as small as a goldfish, or as big as a dog. There are basic rules you will have to explain to your child in regards to pet care, no matter what pet you have decided upon getting.

Firstly, explain the basics of what your pet will need to survive. Discuss before even having the pet in your home the responsibility your child will have in regards to caring for your family pet. Be sure your child understands your pets eating habits, how much to feed, when to feed your pet, and what your pet can and cannot eat. Your child may find it fun to feed the pet, and make sure the water supply is kept up to date.

Your child should also be aware that the environment for the pet should be clean. Such as, a hamster cage needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, if you have decided on a puppy there will be a few messes to clean up. Compromise with your child, tell them if you clean up the pet mess, they are responsible for feeding and giving water. It can also be a joint effort if the pet is a dog to take the dog on walks together.

Keeping a pet is a worthwhile experience for a child, but a responsible one too, that shouldn’t be taken lightly before making the decision to have a pet. Talk to your child about all the responsibilities for the pet, and be sure to emphasize that these chores and responsibilities will be an ongoing experience, not just a passing fad.

Remind your child when each task has to be done with the pet. Very young children will not be able to do a lot of the things a pet requires, so an older child will be more suitable for caring for a pet. Stress that the pet will be the childs responsibility, but be prepared to take over if your child isn’t doing what should be done. The best way to teach your child the responsibility of caring for a pet is to talk about all the aspects involved in pet ownership. Show your child how to care for the pet, and the best way to behave while around pets, before you know it your child and pet will be living in perfect harmony.

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