One of the most amazing benefits of owning a pet is that it gives you an opportunity to teach your children about responsibility. It also introduces him or her to a new sense of happiness that’s associated with caring for another life. Everything from taking care of the daily chores to going out for walks with the pet will add to your child’s experience and help him or her become a caring and loving individual in the years to come.
Teaching the Value of Structure
It is common knowledge that children thrive in a structured environment. Having a pet at home will add to your child’s routine and helping him or her to spend their energy to do something constructive and caring. Kids respond best when they understand the reason for doing a particular chore and the repercussions of not doing them. For example, rather than ordering your kids to organize their toys and other belongings it’s much more effective to show them that organizing helps them find things much quicker.
Similarly, when you explain to your kids that dogs need to be walked at a certain time every day you need to make them realize the consequence of not doing the chore. They will quickly realize that not only the dog is in immense discomfort but they will have to clean and scrub the floor if there are any ‘accidents’. Once they get used to taking the dog outside, it will only be a matter time till it becomes a daily habit.
Teaching Good Health – Prevention Is Vital
Only a few parents can say their children didn’t cry, scream, or kick when it was time for those routine booster shots. Dogs too are equally anxious when they are in an unfamiliar space like the vet’s office.
Children can draw on their own experience of being at the doctor’s office and provide comfort to their pet pals during a vet checkup. Keep the kids informed about the dog’s vaccination schedule. Also, ask your kids to be beside you when you administer anti-flea medications and heartworm preventives such as Trifexis. This way they know that they need to take on the responsibility to administer these preventives when they grow older. When they see you take the proper preventive measures to keep the family pet safe and healthy, your kids will grow up to understand the positive merits of preventive care.
Learning to Respect the Wants and Needs of Others
Finally, it is extremely important to teach your children how to respect their pets. Dogs are often mistreated to an extent that they develop an unhealthy fear of humans. Different dogs react differently to ill behavior. Some become overtly shy and submissive while others can develop a habit of snapping at anything that they consider a threat.
Most kids would never willingly hurt an animal but you need to explain to them that playing rough or hugging too tightly can also cause stress to dogs. Children should also be made aware that giving their pets respect also means giving them food at proper timings and taking them out for walks.
The lessons learned while taking care of their pets help your kids understand the importance of responsibility, respect, and care giving. A pet dog can help nurture your child’s caring nature in a way no teaching aid ever can.