Owning a dog is a family-affair in that everyone can help out and share the responsibility, even the kids. While the big responsibilities will ultimately fall into the hands of the adults, there is plenty the kids can help with. Look at it as an excellent opportunity to teach kids about the responsibilities of owning a dog, and it also gives them a chance to feel important and bond with the dog.
Here are some ways that the kids can help out with the responsibilities.
Feeding the Dog
Before you hand off this responsibility to the kids, it’s important to ensure that your dog is trained in meal-time manners. Have the dog sit and stay until the food is in the dish, and then give the appropriate command that they are free to start eating. This will ensure that they don’t get a bit too excited and push a child over in an attempt to get at their bowl. To make the chore easier for kids, you can store the food in an air-tight container that is easy to reach and open/close, and place a measuring scoop in it. By using a measuring scoop, they won’t have to wonder if they are giving the dog the right amount.
Brushing the Dog
Regular brushing is a wonderful way to ensure your dog’s coat and skin stays healthy, and it can also be a wonderful bonding experience. You can find a wide variety of dog brushes on the market, but kids may prefer the mitt-type that fits like a mitt or glove right over their hand and has bristles on the palm. Be sure to teach them how to brush gently, and that they should ask for help getting any tangles out.
Helping Out at Vet Visits
As any pet owner will know, regular vet visits are also part of pet ownership. This is exactly why so many pet owners choose to sign up for pet insurance policies, such as those found at https://www.everypaw.com/. Pet insurance for dogs from Everypaw can help with vet bills if anything ever happens to your dog – they also offer pet insurance for cats too.
Taking your dog to the vet is a great way for your children to feel involved in their dog’s overall well-being, to learn about things such as a healthy body weight for the dog, vaccinations, and trimming their nails, and to even ask questions of the vet.
Get Active with the Dog
Here’s a tip that is not only good for the dog’s health, but also your child’s. Encourage them to be active in play with their dog, such as throwing a ball, running around in the back garden, playing tug-of-war, and if old enough – taking the dog for a walk (this may require parent supervision).
Sharing the Responsibilities and Love
Finding ways that everyone in the family can share in the responsibility of owning a dog is not only a great teaching moment, but it gives each individual a chance to form their own special bond with the family pet.