Getting your child a pet can teach them responsibility about taking care of another living thing, while at the same time giving them the joy of growing up with a pet. It you have recently gotten a puppy, make sure that your child is involved in the day-to-day tasks of caring for your new family member. Here are four ways your child can be involved in the care and raising of a new puppy in your home.
1. Make Pet Duty Part of Your Child’s Chores
Don’t get in the habit to do all the feeding and walking with your new puppy. If you can make pet care a part of your child’s responsibility from day one, they will be able to take ownership of the tasks involved. This is a great way to establish a bond between your child and pet since your puppy will look to them for care.
2. Have Your Child Involved in Veterinary Visits
Your child can be involved with your puppy’s health as well. Have them come along to vet visits for your puppy, from shots and general checkups. Make sure that your child has an opportunity to ask the vet any questions about their dog’s health, behavior or seek advice. Sometimes advice from a vet (like those at Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic) on feeding schedules and exercise will stick more with a child than similar advice from a parent.
3. Pet Training – In Class and Out
Puppies need to get started on their general training in order to be a successful adult dog. Have your child help with the potty training by rewarding your dog when they do well, and helping with the clean up when they don’t. If you have an older child, consider having them take your dog to obedience class and be the main trainer of your dog. Get your child started right away with good habits when it comes to all aspects of training your dog.
4. The Fun Stuff
Puppies need affection and playtime, and who better to give this to them than your child. Puppies can be adorable and you might want to dote on them, but don’t steal the spotlight from your child. Make sure to teach your child some good play techniques such as not letting puppies nip on hands while playing and to limit roughhousing.
Whether your new pet is a puppy, a kitten, or even a goldfish, you can still find ways to incorporate your new pet’s needs into your child’s daily routine. Make sure your child takes responsibility for family pets. This will set a good foundation for your child to be a responsible animal lover and owner for the rest of their life.