If you have children at home, the chances are they are pretty keen on getting a pet. While pets can make a wonderful addition to the family, they also come with a big responsibility. Along with the fun and games, it’s important to consider the feeding, cleaning, and exercising responsibilities, and generally keeping the pet healthy. While the kids may promise they will take care of everything, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that after a couple of months, you will be the one left to the bits that aren’t so fun! So how can you teach your kids the importance of taking care of a pet, so that you aren’t left holding the lead?
Get Them Involved In Decision-Making
If your child is old enough, it can be a great idea to involve them in choosing a potential pet. If you are thinking of adopting from a rescue centre, then taking your child along to choose their new best friend can be a great way of making them a part of the decision-making. Selecting your new pet based on their temperament and needs is also a useful way of ensuring a future furry friend is suitable for your child, avoiding any potential issues when their friend comes to live in their new home.
Let Them Build A Home!
No matter what pet your child wants, allowing them to design its living space at home could be a great way of encouraging some responsibility. Letting them select bedding, baskets, and feeding bowls shows them some of the essential things required to take care of a pet, while also showing them you trust them enough to become involved in important choices.
Encourage Them To Train
If a canine companion is coming home, then training is likely to be on the schedule. Teaching good behaviour can be the perfect place to get your child involved. Helping them to train up their new dog with some simple commands and games can really build their new relationship, making them more likely to also become involved in the less fun, but no less important parts of the deal (like the pooper-scooping!).
Walking And Feeding Schedule
Trusting your child to become involved with the feeding schedule of a new pet is a good way to help them understand how to take care of their friend beyond fun and games. Make them responsible for replenishing the pet’s food and water, and don’t forget to let them know when they do a good job. If their new pet needs regular exercise, then involve them with daily walks. If they are old enough, consider letting them take the lead, and don’t forget the importance of teaching them how to pick up after their pet. Not only will it build responsibility, it’ll also encourage some exercise for the whole family!
So, if your child is pestering you to get them a pet, don’t fear! With a few useful steps, it could be a great way of introducing them to some important responsibility at an early age.