How to Teach Children to Care for Pets



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Part 1 of 2:

Thinks to Consider

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    1

    Decide if the pet is suitable for your child.Give them a simple pet to take care of depending on their experience with animals. You should ask yourself some questions:

    • Is your child quite young or is he/she a bit older? Taking on the responsibility of caring for a large pet such as a dog is quite a task and isn’t suitable for little children who won’t be able to control the pet, let alone care for it. A fish or a hamster is a suitable pet that is easier and more reasonable to take care of.
    • Has the child suffered from animals in the past? Ask the child if he/she has ever been harmed by an animal before. It doesn’t have to be a big bite from a dog, it could just be a simple nip from a mouse. No matter how small the injury, always let the child have the choice to care for the pet instead of forcing the chore upon them.
    • Does the child have a fear of the animal? You could always try curing this fear, but no matter what you do, the child could still become anxious around the pet. As always, ask if he/she is okay with taking care of the pet and say that it is alright to not be okay with it.
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    2

    Explain to your child the reason on why she/he has to take care of the pet.If it’s either to give your child responsibility, give them a chore or even if it is because you are bringing a new pet into the household, you should explain to them calmly and in a quiet area.

    • Leave the topic open for discussion. Do not refuse to listen to what your child has to say, let him/her give their own opinion and always be willing to answer any questions that they have.
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    3

    Understand that your child will make some mistakes. Even if these are big mistakes, be understanding and do not give them harsh consequences for treating the pet wrong, everyone makes beginner mistakes!

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    4

    Create a chart on what jobs your child has to do and when they have to do them. This is a great organizer for both you and your child. Whenever he/she does the job properly, put a sticker on their chart to encourage them to do all the jobs properly. It will also make caring for the pet fun.

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Part 2 of 2:

Beginning

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    1

    Introduce your child to the pet.If s/he has never seen the pet before, a nice introduction is a nice start before the child starts to care for the pet.

    • Give him/her time to get use to the pet. Let her play with the pet for a while, unless it is a pet that is not to be played with such as a fish or bug. Remember to supervise your child and the pet to make sure that s/he or the pet doesn’t get hurt or that the pet doesn’t escape.
    • Give your child some helpful information about the pet. Tell him/her what the pet cannot eat, what the pet likes and tell him/her what to expect of the pet.
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    2

    Show your child what to do. If their job is to feed the pet, tell them how much food they should get and when they have to feed them.

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    3

    Do not give your child a task that they cannot perform, such as giving a dog a bath. Even if it is a small animal like a bird, it can still escape and you will have to spend time trying to catch it. If you are going to give them a hard task, help them with it.

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    4

    Supervise your child for the first week or so to make sure they don’t make some small mistakes that can cost you.Such as feeding the goldfish too much, the fish will over-eat and kill itself.

    • Do not leave them to do all the work by themselves. Give your child plenty of free-time and help them when they need help.
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    5

    Give your child some harder tasks after a few weeks. Let him/her take care of the dog without help or let them take on some harder jobs such as walking a dog or grooming a cat (with supervision).

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    6

    Give your child some simple rewards for taking great care of the pet. If they have continuously been taking care of the pet without fussing or having to be asked, giving them a little reward is always great encouragement for the child.

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  • Remember that pets have to sleep as well, do not make your child care for the pet constantly or play with the pet a lot. Thanks!

    Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

  • Know how to take care of the pet yourself before you teach your children to take care of them. Thanks!

    Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

  • Do not think that just because the child is taking all the time caring for the pet and that you cannot. Everyone should pitch in when it’s a family pet. Thanks!

    Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

  • Tell your child which things the pet cannot eat. A dog cannot eat chocolate, a bird cannot eat avocados and a hamster should not eat lettuce. Thanks!

    Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • Always supervise your children. Pets can get aggressive if the child makes a mistake or accidentally hurts them, and the pet can harm the child. Thanks!

    Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

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