Pet ownership comes with a hefty task list.
But our furry friends bring so much joy into our lives in return.
Owning a pet is also a positive way to teach children about responsibility and can bring the family closer together.
With that in mind, these are five pet care tips for parents that will make your life easier, help your kids understand the importance of good pet care, and ensure your animal companions are well looked after.
If your new pet is going to be a surprise for your child, you can skip this step
But if you’re planning in advance as a family, involve them in the early stages of preparation – from choosing your pet, to buying essentials like beds, cages, and toys.
Letting them help you with these decisions early on will help them feel involved, and the experience of that early excitement before adoption will only encourage them to play a hands-on role with their new best friend.
Create a rota
Sharing chores is an excellent way for children to learn valuable life skills and master the art of responsibility.
And doling out pet-related tasks on a rota is a great way for them to enjoy the full pet ownership experience too! Family chores app Cozi is a favourite with many parents when it comes to task delegation.
Know what to look for
We hate it when our pets suffer, and unlike us, they can’t explain what’s wrong.
That means that when something isn’t right, they rely on us to notice the warning signs, such as a lack of appetite, low mood and more obvious physical symptoms.
Some of these may indicate a serious underlying health condition. But just like humans, others may be more manageable, such as allergies. A good vet is a valuable ally, particularly one that pairs with experts like Avacta Animal Health to provide thorough and up-to-date treatment.
Teaching your kids to keep an eye on your pets helps them develop that caring role, and strengthens the bond between pet and young owner.
Teach them training
Training a pet can be a surprisingly useful skill – we’ve all seen those Facebook videos of dogs who can fetch snacks from the fridge.
It also makes your life easier – there’s nothing worse than an animal who doesn’t heed the word ‘no.’
And involving your children in the house-training process is good for both you and your pet, who will learn authority form every individual in the house. It’s also rewarding for your children to be involved in this part of pet ownership.
The most important part of childhood is the memories you make as a family, and pets will only add to the experience.
Be sure to take plenty of photographs together to remember those special times – your pets will make a hugely positive impact on your child’s treasured memories, and it’s a time in their life that you and they will always reflect upon fondly.
These are just five ways for parents to teach their children the importance of pet care and make the most of the experience together.