Having a pet comes with its fair share of responsibilities; however, if you have kids you can—and should!—get them to help out. Not only will this take some work off your plate, it will also help your children to mature. To help you take care of your pet as a family, here are five tips from Chico, your neighbourhood pet store.
1.Divvy up the tasks
The first order of business is to compile a list of all the tasks involved in taking care of your pet. Next, distribute the responsibilities between your family members, taking into account each person’s age and abilities. Note that you will need to show your child how to properly carry out their duties.
2. Teach the basics
Having an animal is a great way to teach kids about responsibility. In addition to playing with your pet, your children can help with feedings. When they’re three or older, teach your little ones to fill your pet’s food and water bowls. You’ll have to measure out the portions yourself; however, leave it to your child to pour the food and water out for your pet.
3. Encourage interaction
Older children can take on more responsibilities. As well as feeding the animal, your child, if they’re between six and 10, can invent games to play with your pet and can be taught how to reward the animal. Alternatively, your child can give the pet treats when the latter obeys one of the commands you taught him or her.
4. Divvy up remaining tasks
Children over 10 can perform more challenging tasks. They can help with cleaning the animal, for instance, by brushing it regularly. They can also take dogs on walks, so long as someone mature accompanies them and the dogs aren’t too big. This will involve, of course, cleaning up after the animal. And mature children or adolescents can be in charge of keeping a cat’s litter box clean.
5. Always supervise
Whatever the age of your child, you need to take care to supervise them in their interactions with the animal. And if you have a large dog, your child should never carry the leash during walks. This constitutes a risk for your child, your pet and for other people.
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