Friday, February 2, 2018

Careful Planning and Adult Supervision Can Ensure A Wonderful Bond Between Kids and Pets


Having a family pet can be beneficial for children. It can help teach them love, respect, and responsibility.  The key for successful pet ownership is adult supervision, age appropriate tasks and open communication regarding expectations and concerns.

Factors to consider:
  • the age of the child
  • the size, energy, strength and temperament of the pet
  • safety for the child and the pet (the location of a walk, presence of other animals that could cause aggressive behavior, hand feeding that could cause nipping, etc.)
  • the extent to which the child is able to display empathy for the pet's well being (not chasing it, etc)
Slowly rewarding children with more responsibility as they demonstrate completion of tasks works well.  In addition, having realistic expectations and preparing for danger (e.g. allowing the child to hold the leash while the adult maintains control of the dog) can reduce risks for both the pet and the child.  Careful planning and adult supervision can ensure a wonderful bond between pets and kids that can last a lifetime.