Having a dog can be wonderful for children; a pet dog will always be a loyal friend and companion, who’ll be willing to play with your child at any time, provide comfort when they are upset, and be somebody to cuddle up with if they’re feeling stressed out and anxious. Dogs can have a multitude of benefits for children; when it comes to child health, there have been several studies which suggest that dog ownership in childhood can help strengthen a child’s immune system and even help ward off developing childhood respiratory conditions such as asthma.
The day-to-day routine of owning a dog can also be extremely beneficial for your child; exercising the dog regularly can help your child to stay more active, whilst the daily duties of caring for and looking after a dog can be an excellent method of teaching your little ones all about how to take responsibilities and what it means to be committed to caring for another living being. But, to make sure that there is harmony and happiness in your home, it’s vital that you teach your children the best way to care for their dog, and how to ensure that he is always happy. Here are some top tips for teaching little ones to look after a pet dog.
Tip #1. Exercising:
Exercising a dog is a fun activity that all the family can take part in. Walking the dog every day can easily become a family affair, so that all the family can get involved, perhaps by each taking turns with holding the leash, or alternating between whose turn it is to play fetch. Exercising your dog will help your child to understand just how important it is for their pet to get a daily dose of physical activity to help keep them in the best health and condition. Along with this, it can also be an awesome way of encouraging your kids to get out more and become more active, too! Check out the reviews from Fast Dogs to discover some awesome dog exercise aids and toys.
Feeding a dog is a simple task that even young children can pick up quickly and easily. Younger children can help mom or dad to pour dog food into the feeding bowl, and as your little ones get a bit older, you will be able to trust them to feed the dog all by themselves. Be sure that you explain to them just how important it is to ensure that their dog eats healthy food and isn’t fed too much, as this could make them overweight – just like humans. It’s a good idea to use measuring scoops for your dog’s food, to make it easier for kids to work out how much to give. Don’t forget to teach them how to ensure their dog always has clean water as well.
Training is a fun activity to do with your puppy, and something that children can easily get involved in. There are many fun tricks that little ones can teach to dogs, and allowing your kids to play a part in the training of the new puppy will also help them to take more of an authoritarian position in the home, rather than the new pup seeing them as being equal to them. In turn, your dog will be more likely to listen to your child in the future and do as they say. Don’t forget to teach your child the importance of voice tone when training, such as a firm voice for giving commands, and a higher-pitched voice for praise.
Cleaning is all part and parcel of responsible dog ownership! Teaching your child from a young age to clean up after their dog when he makes a mess will help them grow up to be more responsible dog owners, and even more responsible people in the future! Firstly, the most important lesson to teach is that of cleaning up dog mess when their dog uses the toilet outdoors; make sure that your child knows to always carry bags with them when walking their dog so that they can leave any areas visited as clean as they were when they arrived. It’s also a good idea to get your child involved with any cleaning related to the dog around the home, such as cleaning out their food bowls, washing the dog bed, and clearing away any spilt food, for example.
A dog can be the perfect pet for children, but it’s also vital to understand that dogs can be very dangerous animals when they are provoked the wrong way. Because of this, it’s crucial that you make teaching your children how to respect their pet a very important lesson. Make sure that your little ones know that they need to be mindful of how their dog is behaving, and take notice of anything that they do that the dog doesn’t like. Although dogs can’t talk to us, they can show us their likes and dislikes in many ways by using their body language. For example, whilst wagging the tail and barking might signify that your dog is excited or happy, growling can mean that they are unhappy or angry about something. Make sure that your children know what to look out for and how to treat their dog with respect, to make sure that they stay safe.
Lastly, most dogs will need to be groomed or bathed at least occasionally. If you have a short-haired dog, then they will usually only need to be brushed occasionally and bathed when needed, for example if they have been outside and gotten dirty. This could also depend on the color of your dog’s coat. For example, a white haired dog will be more prone to stains and therefore may require more bathing. On the other hand, long-haired dogs tend to require more frequent grooming to prevent their hair from becoming matted. Teach your child how to do this correctly to help keep their dog looking and feeling her best!
Did you have a dog as a child? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.