Kids love pets and almost every child wants to have a pet in the house. Traditionally, families view dogs and cats as pets. However, you also can encourage your kids to keep fish and birds as pets. No matter which pet you and your child decide to have at home, it is necessary that the family takes care of the pet. A good way to teach your kids responsibility is by involving them in pet care.
Kids who truly love a pet should show their affection by pitching in to help in every aspect of pet care; be it feeding or taking them for walks. Every parent should try their level best to make the child understand that playing with the pet is not enough and that he also needs to get involved in pet care.
Here are a few ways that may help you get your child involved in pet care.
Be a Role Model
The best way to get your child involved in taking care of the family pet is by being a role model. For instance, always take your child along when you take the pet out for walks or you can make feeding time into a family event. When a child sees his parents involved with the pet from a young age, sooner or later he too will begin to help with feeding, grooming and walking the pet.
Dont Force Your Child
Many times, forcing something upon your child makes him averse to it. Pet care is a voluntary act and should not be forced upon any child. However, he can be assigned tasks such as ensuring the pet has fresh water every morning and evening and then supervising this task to make sure your child does it. This will go a long way helping the child realize that pets too are part of the family and need as much care, love and attention as other family members.Gradually taking care of the pet will turn into a habit.
Reinforce Pet Care in a Positive Manner
Reinforcement is not new to any parent. They know their childs traits and understand how to reinforce something in a positive manner. Just try reinforcing pet care in the same manner. Point it out to the child when the pet gulps down the water that the child has just filled or show him how much the pet is enjoying a meal that the child has just helped to put in the bowl. These simple reinforcement measures will go a long way in making the child love taking care of the family pet.
It may take some time for the child to understand pets requirements and how to get involved in pet care, but it is indeed worth a try! For any assistance with pet care, you can turn to experts and even use a pet care app for your mobile phone. Such app allows you to get access to professional services, such as dog walking, pet sitting and home introduction, from the comfort of your home.
Engage Kids in Medical Care
Make your child understand that it is very important for a pet to have regular medical care just like he has to go to a doctor regularly for a check-up. Take your child along whenever you take your pet to the vet. Let him understand the basic health problems any pet may face and what can be done to make the pet feel better. This will fascinate your child and make him keen to get involved in taking care of the pet.
Where to Draw the Line
It is important for a child to understand that there are certain boundaries with a pet and going beyond those boundaries could be harmful for their safety and that of other members of the family. Teach your kid not to feed table scraps or pull the ears of the family pet. Demonstrate how to pet and play with the pet and understand the signs when the pet has had enough play.