Owning a pet is a huge point of conflict in so many homes. Of course, kiddos want the pet but parents know they’re going to be the ones that have to take care of it. But owning a pet is so much more than potty training and long walks at the park. Owning a pet can teach children how to share compassion, commit to responsibility, and how to bond with animals in a way that just can’t be taught. We’ve outlined our top 3 ways to teach your kiddos responsibility while owning a pet.
Food & Water
First things first, all living things need food and water to survive, right? Right! So what better way to teach your kiddos responsibility than with making sure they get fed and have water every day? This is a great chore to motivate your kiddos to get more involved and taking on more responsibility in the household. It’s recommended to have some way to track if this was done each day to make sure your dog or cat is taken care of.
Another great way to teach your kiddo’s responsibility is to have them be in charge of grooming your pet. This can be as often as once a day or once a week, depending on your pet’s needs. It’s a good rule of thumb to allow grooming activities such as brushing or bathing. Supervision is always a good idea to make sure the job gets done right!
Last but not least, training is a great way to introduce your kiddos to the world of responsibility. While your young kiddos may not be able to teach your dog any life-changing commands, kids love to help and feel included. A great way to incorporate your kiddos into your training is by asking your kids to enforce what you’ve already trained them on. For instance, if your dog sleeps in a kennel every night, have your kiddos give them a command and give the dog a treat if they listen/obey said command. Your kiddos will love feeling like they’re training their pup!
Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding and heartwarming experiences we can have, and truly makes a house a home. How does your family divide responsibility when it comes to the family pet? Let us know in the comments below!