Teaching Children To Take Care of The Family’s Pooch

Having a dog as a pet provides many benefits for children’s development. A dog is more than a pet, it’s a friend who will accompany the whole family throughout its life and help create special and lasting bonds. Children’s love for dogs develops naturally, but to learn to care for them properly, they must be taught.

Photo: Alicia Jones from Unsplash

Before diving into the different tips and tricks, parents should know that unfortunately, mishaps, injuries, and accidents do happen when kids and animals live under the same roof.

If we sit down and think about it, many possible scenarios cross our minds, and this is why many parents end up asking themselves- is it worth getting pet insurance? Anyone with a child and a pet at home would give a straight affirmative answer as pet insurance truly is the utmost necessity for everyone’s well-being and safety.

However, it mostly depends on you as a parent how you teach your child to treat and respect the dog and this article offers some suggestions on how your children can learn to take good care of the family pooch. 

Teach Them General Rules

By nature, dogs are friendly and social creatures, and most dogs have no problem being around children. For a relationship between a child and a dog to work, it is not only dogs that must be trained properly, but the children as well.

Set up some rules about how the furry family member should be treated. Things that are important to address are, for example, not to disturb the dog when it eats, chews on its leg, rests in its bed, or sleeps.

It’s essential for the child to understand how the dog functions and reacts in different situations. Teach the child that a dog never does anything to be mean – even if, for example, it chews on the child’s favorite toy. This will instead remind the child to never leave its favorite stuffed animal within the dog’s reach.

Teach Them About Body Language

Another thing that is good to teach the child when a pooch becomes part of the family is basic body language.

From the time your child is little, make sure that it learns and understands different parts of the dog’s body, such as ears, tail, mouth, but also its body posture which the dog uses to communicate by touching or positioning them in different ways.

For example, the child needs to know that the dog is happy if it waves its tail, but that you should leave the dog alone if it growls or walks away.

Let Them Be Part of the Training and Games

You can also include the child when you train your four-legged friend, and let the child participate in teaching the dog simple tricks as this creates the perfect development opportunity for everyone. In this way, the child gets the early experience of not only playing with a dog but also training it, which ultimately brings them closer.

Activity and games have proven to be an effective way of teaching children the responsibility of having a pet.

Your child may sometimes find it boring to leave the house to walk the dog, but if you show them places where they can both run around and play together, this will make both the child and the animal more enthusiastic.

Teach Them About Hygiene

Photo: Matthew Coulton from Pexels

You should teach the child that the bowl of water and food must always be clean. In addition to feeding the dog and always keeping it well hydrated with a bowl full of fresh water, it is very important to keep the bowl free from bacteria. As humans, we wash dishes and glasses after each use, and the containers where the dogs eat must always be well-sanitized. Children need to learn to clean the bowls, it is a simple task that they can do on their own every day.

It’s very important to keep the dog’s hair well brushed and clean, give it regular baths and keep its ears clean for good overall health. Even if your children are small and not always able to do it on their own, they can help you with small chores like taking care of the dog’s cleaning products, towels, etc.

Final Thoughts

Children can quickly learn that a dog is a faithful friend that gives boundless love, friendship, and companionship but also requires time, discipline, and constant attention to be happy and well-groomed.

Once a family has decided to get a dog, the whole family structure changes. Your child simply needs to get used to the fact that other family members require attention and care now.


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