Back to Article Index
Pet Care Responsibilities For Children
In families with pets, each member of the family should have a role in that pet’s care. That includes children. However, children should be given pet care tasks that are appropriate for their age. Below are some suggestions on age-appropriate chores involving pets:
- Toddlers. The role that toddlers can take in pet care is that of helper. They can help their parents with tasks like grooming, going for walks, filling food and water dishes, and going to the veterinarian. They should also take part in giving rewards for good behavior by supplying dogs with treats for sitting, going in the crate, and so on.
- Ages 5 to 7 . Children in this age group can take over some of the previous tasks all on their own, such as grooming, watering and feeding. However, though they may no longer need help from their parents, they may still need to be reminded.
- Ages 8 to 12 . Children in this age group can continue grooming, watering and feeding on their own. They can usually also play with the pet alone, though walks should still be supervised.
- Teenagers. Some teenagers are responsible and mature enough to take full responsibility for the pet, including feeding, exercising and cleaning up after the pet. This can also include visits to the vet and even partaking in obedience classes.