Teach Your Kids About Pet Care
Teaching your kids about pet care is important whether you have pets or not. Regardless of the type of pet you have or plan on having, there are a few things that your kids to need to know about. Many parents think that teaching their children to properly care for a pet is unnecessary, but teaching your children how to care for pets is beneficial for the pet, your children, and you!
Teaching Communication and Respect
Teaching a child to care for a pet is much like teaching them to care for another person. Children will have to learn and understand how to care for the pet and learn how to figure out what it needs. Every pet has its own way of telling their owner what they need. The more a child knows about the pet, the better they will be able to care for them. This is the best way to keep your child and your pet safe.
Many pets are injured easily and require special care. For this reason, children should learn how to handle the pet without hurting it or themselves. One of the best things to do, especially if you plan on getting a dog or cat, is to teach your child the pet’s name. Calling a pet’s name before you approach is the best way to approach them, and help them learn their name.
Educate Yourself and Your Children
Educating yourself and your children about the pets you plan to have is the best way to provide proper care for the new addition to your family. Owning any type of pet is a major responsibility, but this responsibility is not noticed until the pet is already in the home.
Before you purchase a family pet, you and your children need to know and understand what to expect. Having and caring for a dog will not be the same as caring for a cat. You should conduct extensive research about the pet you plan on introducing to your home and teach you what you have learned. This is one of the best ways to let your children know their boundaries with the pet.
During your research, make sure you know how to feed the pet, how to bathe it, and what to feed it. Most pets interact with children without a problem, so you may want to research a few toys to purchase for the pet.
To take things a step further, explain to your children about veterinary visits and the importance of them. Children young and old can relate to going to the doctor and being in good health. Many experts suggest that parents should involve their children in the health care of the pet to help them cope with their own doctor’s appointments.
What Do You Expect?
Children sometimes have unrealistic expectations of their pets due to popular children’s movies, such as Airbuds, and Cats & Dogs. To prevent injury to your children and pet, help them set realistic expectations for the pet. Try to help your children understand that dogs and cats cannot fly and they do not talk. As far as responsibility is concerned, make sure that you do not overwhelm your child with responsibilities regarding the new pet, as this could cause resentment. A 2-year-old may be okay and ready to feed the pet, but bathing it may be a task for an older child who is 5 years or older.
Playing it Safe
When you have a pet in your home, it’s always best to play it safe. If you are unsure about something, call someone who knows what to do. Teach your children the foods that your pet can and cannot eat. It’s tempting for a lot of children to feed a dog or cat food from the table, but table food is not best for their diet. As far as safety is concerned, young children should be accompanied when they are walking the dog or another type of pet that can overpower a child.
These few things can keep children, pets, and their owners safe. Having a family pet is a joy, but you need to make sure that everyone in the home is safe and practices safety care measures at all times.