Friday, December 16, 2011

Helping a Child to Be a Pet Parent

Even the most fervent yearning for a dog or cat won’t make a child a good pet parent. It’s up to you to prepare your children for the responsibility of having a pet. A young child will not have
the ability to train a pet. That will fall to you, so if this is your first dog, or you’ve never had a cat before, make sure you read up on the best way to establish and maintain a good relationship with your pet. This is also a good time to shape your child’s expectations, and impress upon him or her that a pet is a long-term commitment. Once that cute kitten or puppy matures, or the novelty wears off, some children may lose interest.

An older child may be expected to assume some responsibility for walking the dog or feeding the cat, but this should still be supervised by you. Children, including teenagers, sometimes get distracted or forgetful, and may not realize how their unintentional neglect can affect a pet who needs attention.