Taking Care Of Pets And Teaching Children Responsibility

Submitted by: Autumn Lockwood

Most children look forward to the day they can have a pet of their own. Pets can be a great way for a child to learn about responsibility and what it takes to care for a pet, whether it is a dog, cat, guinea pig or gold fish. It is important to match the pet to your child s ability to care for it. You wouldn t want to overwhelm your child with a difficult pet or a pet that requires more care than the child can provide. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the pet is supposed to be a fun family addition and the pet s needs and well-being need to be cared for. Here are a couple of ways a pet can help your child learn about responsibility.

Choosing the Right Pet

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a family pet. Not only are there numerous categories of pets, there are numerous choices within each pet category. Do you want a large dog or small dog? Do you want a long hair cat or a short hair? Do you want an aquarium or just a fish bowl? But, one of the first things to consider is the age and maturity level of your child. If you plan to have your child be the primary pet caretaker, your pet needs to be of a size and category that your child can properly care for. If others in the family will share in the responsibility of the pet care, you have more pet options available.

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To keep a pet a fun family addition, be sure not to assign your child a task they are too young to handle. Young children can handle simple tasks like brushing the dog s or cat s coat each day or replenishing the food and water. Some children have a tendency to forget what needs to be done so you can gently remind them with a pet care calendar where daily tasks are written. To personalize their calendar you can decorate it with a few photos of your child with their pet and display it in a pet-themed picture frame on their bedroom wall. No matter the age or maturity level of your child you should be actively involved to make sure your child s pet is receiving enough attention and the proper care it needs.

Assign Appropriate Pet Care Tasks

The pet care tasks you assign to your child will depend upon the child s age and maturity and willingness to take responsibility. Providing food and water to a pet is the most important task and should be assigned to a child only if you are sure they will take the task seriously and not forget. Pets need exercise. A fun task would be sharing playtime and physical activity or, if the pet is a dog, taking it for a walk. Pets need to be groomed and brushing a pet s fur is an easy enough job for even a young child. If your child is older and wants to assume primary responsibility for the pet, that could include special time with their puppy attending an obedience class. Candid photos of your child interacting with a pet are fun to display in picture frames or frame the obedience training graduation certificate with a photo of the proud pet and child.

Taking care of a pet is a great way to help your child learn about responsibility. Start before you acquire a pet by explaining what it takes to care for a pet. Explain the daily care and how important each task is for the well-being of the pet. Answer any questions or concerns your child may have so they are comfortable with the new responsibility. Once you have that cute new puppy or kitten, or aquarium of fish, follow up with your child to make sure they understand their responsibility and are not having any problems taking care of their pet.

About the Author: Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames. Display your favorite pictures in one of our beautiful

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