Teaching Your Child How to Handle Pets
Once you have chosen a pet for your kids you will need to teach them how to handle the animal correctly. Often kids are so excited to have their pet that they can accidentally frighten the poor animal. Most pets can be touched safely but we need to teach our kids how to hold and carry their new pet. This advice is focused on animals that can be touched, like cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, rabbits, and the like.
When you first bring home your pet walk slowly around them always trying to keep your voices low and gentle. Animals can react aggressively to abrupt loud movements. If you kids run suddenly towards a pet, they might defend themselves. If your kids run away from them, they might attack them. Let your new pet get used to you and your home.
Teach your kids to leave a pet that is eating or chewing something alone. Animals can be very protective of food and may get aggressive if your kids try to remove them from it. You must teach your kids to be gentle with their pets. Show your kids how to play with their pets without hurting them. Make sure your kids know not to grab an animal by its tail or legs as these places are very sensitive and this will hurt your pet. Teach your kids how to stroke their pet and rub scratch them in the places your pet likes, For instance our dog loves to be scratched just under his ears
If you have another pet at home introduce the new pet slowly and carefully. If they suddenly fight, don’t separate them with your bare hands. Instead, try throwing water on them or distracting them with some objects, like a pole or chair. Don’t let your kids get involved with this and send them out of the room at this point.
Teach your kids how to pick up their pet without hurting them. Pets will need to be groomed on a regular basis. Your kids may be able to do this after you have shown them how. Teach your children the type of grooming that is required by their pet.
You will also need to teach your kids how to clean out their pet’s cage or living area and how to keep water bowls and food bowls clean. Pets in cages will need to be thoroughly cleaned out at least once a week. If you have a very young child they can help you to clean out the cage. You will need to decide when you kids are old enough to do this well themselves.
Your child may want their pet to sleep in their room with them at night. This is something you will need to consider. We have never allowed this preferring our pets to stay downstairs at night.
A child should have a pet at least once in their lives. It helps teach children about caring, responsibility and respect. These are values which will help them through their lives.