Giving your child a dog for her to be hers when she grows older is a great idea for many reasons. They are not only likely to be the most wonderful of companions; however, taking care of dogs will teach your child the importance of responsibility and patience, in addition to other essential virtues.
If you’re thinking about acquiring a pet for your little ones, there are many things to think about. Although every child grows at different rates, however, in general, you’ll have an idea of when your child may be capable of taking on the responsibility of carrying out the various duties required to care for the pet. Kay Cox, known as The Pet Counselor, is a psychologist for animals and an educator. “I believe it’s vital to train animals and children on how to communicate with one another,” she says. “That’s the thing I’ve helped people with for years.”
We wanted Cox to explain some of the obligations that come with having dogs in the various range of ages when kids may be prepared to start taking them on. Here’s what she has to say. Remember that even the most trained dogs may be aggressive at times, even when they believe they’re playing. This is why it’s crucial that an adult be present whenever children are around dogs, or any animal, for that matter.
Baby: If you have an infant, it’s likely that your child isn’t in charge of caring for an animal. However, this doesn’t mean there are no tasks to be completed. “Your pet will have to feel as if she’s still a part of this huge transition within the life of your loved ones,” said Cox. Cox suggests a five-step procedure which includes:
1. When the baby is born, set aside time that is “baby time” to ensure that your dog gets comfortable and doesn’t be frightened.
2. After the baby is born When the baby is born, introduce your dog to the newborn with care. Animals that are excited or jealous could become aggressive, so it’s crucial to exercise cautiously and remain peaceful and calm.
3. When your dog interacts positively with the puppy, you can give it plenty of praise.
4. Make sure you be with your pet. They are your “fur” children, according to Cox, and they require attention.
5. If people visit you and your baby, Cox suggests keeping small snacks at the door for the dog to ensure she feels like she’s a part of the festivities.
Children: Remember, youngsters aren’t in control of their hands, arms, and feet. Therefore you need to control their movements so that they aren’t rough with your dog. It is also important for you to train your dog to let little ones get into their food bowls or water or even play with their toys. “No, no matter how much you try to keep small children from these items, they will still venture to look them up,” says Cox. For this, teach your dog to behave with your actions of yours. Train him to understand the phrase ‘gentle and do not leave your child in the same space as the dog alone. Even the most gentle of dogs should be monitored for their behavior when they are around children.
Threeto six-year-olds: By the time your child is three years old, If you’ve been working alongside your dog as well as child for a while, it is likely that they have developed a connection in the past. That means that your child will most likely start to help in the care of your dog at about this point. Children can assist with feeding, water, cleaning, brushing, and playing with being watched, of course. Don’t expect them to understand that your dog should be fed, offered water, or played with daily, but having pets to be trained in a safe manner can help to develop responsibility even at this early age.
When a child is six years old when parents begin to look at the chores their children can perform, and caring for pets as a family member could be one of them. “Chores like giving treats to children who do tricks and feeding the dog a meal and cleaning up the food bowls or water bowls are all fairly simple and great first pet chores for kids,” says Cox. “Make it a fun experience, and both the pet and the child will love it. Pets will be delighted.”
While it’s true it can take a bit of time and effort during the beginning stages of a child’s life to make them feel comfortable and prepared for taking care of animals, at the end of the day, it’s going to be one of the most beneficial actions you can take for both your child and your pet – and you’ll see it when you witness how they develop into.