How to Prepare Your Child for Pet Ownership

How to Prepare Your Child for Pet Ownership

Most kids love animals, that’s a known fact. Your child may be asking for a dog or cat and many parents may be inclined to cave in but aren’t sure yet if their kids are ready. Being a pet owner can be a great experience but it’s also a big responsibility. If you’re interesting in adopting a pet, use these tips to prepare your child for that step.

Discuss Pet Care Responsibilities

Before you adopt a pet, write down a list of the daily tasks you and your child will need to take care of and go over them. These may include picking up the pet’s toys, feeding and brushing them, daily walks, and other related duties. Make sure that your child knows what he or she is responsible to do. While parents often help with these chores, let your child do some of these tasks. Not only will this help them bond with the pet, it will also help teach them about good responsibility.

Research Your Potential Pet Together

Although you may already have a pet in mind, you’ll want to do some research on your pet’s basic needs before adopting. There are many websites such as that can not only connect you to your new pet but can also serve as a great resource for information. This is especially important if you’ve never had a pet before. Make sure to do this with your child so they can also learn the basics.

Consider a Trial Run

If you have a friend with a pet, consider asking to pet sit for a weekend. Not only will this give your child a chance to spend time taking care of an animal, it’ll also be a good way to find out if they’re responsible enough to have a pet at home.

Some kids may be afraid of animals so having some time with one can help them get acclimated with them. Make sure that if you’re adopting a dog, for example, you pet sit a dog as you want the experience to be as close to real pet ownership as possible.

Teach About Their Pet’s Alone Time

When you adopt a pet, they may be overwhelmed at times and it’s important for them to have a safe space. With your child, you should discuss that it’s important to let the pet enjoy this alone time and to not bother them when it’s sleeping or occupied. Dogs, for example, often have a crate where they can go and not be bothered. Make sure to talk to your child about this before you bring a pet home. This can help your pet avoid being stressed in the house.

Adopting a pet is a big responsibility. If you’re considering taking on the responsibility of pet ownership, then make sure to do some work ahead of time with your kids. These tips shouldn’t take much time and they can help both you and your kids get ready to be responsible pet owners.