Six Key Things to Teach Your Child About Caring for Their Dog

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.

#2. Feeding:
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.

#3. Training:
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.

#4. Cleaning:
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.

#5. Respect:
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.

#6. Grooming:
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.

Mamasita Amber
Mama of three children and proud new mama of a standard poodle named Prince Miguel.

11 Responses to “Six Key Things to Teach Your Child About Caring for Their Dog

    Kimberly Croisant
    4 years ago

    Dogs are so sweet. We have 2 rescue brother and sister Yorkie Havenesse mix and a 6-month-old Lab in which my son has taken a liking to. We do teach him these things and it has worked out wonderful until the pup eats his lunch!!!

  • We did quite well potty training our rescue pups, but our daughter completely surprised us by teaching them tricks, too! Their relationship is so beautiful and she loves to take care of them (my son is another story…lol)

  • The cleaning up part? Especially out of doors, is VITAL when you live in an area known for its green spaces and walkability. There are grown ups here who haven’t learned that lesson yet.

  • Perhaps another key point to consider would be making time to love on puppy. All the points that you listed are very well stated and extremely important. Bravo for bringing those things to the Forefront. But I think it’s also important that the child understands that the dog sees them as the love of their life and they have to take time to sit down and love on it.

  • I got my first dog when I was 4 years old. And I remember that I loved feeding her. It made me feel so adult. I actually had a fear of dogs when we first got my dog. And even though she was a toy poodle, I was terrified. Having a dog really helped me get over a big fear.

  • These are great tips. I don’t have a dog but I have a cat. I’d like to get a dog that’s a few years old when my kids are older.

  • It’s important to teach them young about the responsibilities of pets and these are some fantastic ways to do this! They are never too young to help out with the fur family

  • We brought home our Siberian Husky puppy a year before our first daughter was born. Our daughter is now almost nine years old so our daughters have grown up with our dog, Sophie. We now have two daughters and although Sophie is getting older, she is the best and most patient dog. She has really let them learn how to take care of her as she’s getting older!

  • I’ve never had a dog but would defintitely like one. I think it is nice for children to grow up with pets, but as you’ve pointed out, things need to be done properly.

  • What sweet pictures you’ve got. I’ve no experience of kids or dogs but your tips are great and i’m sure will benefit a lot of people

  • These are some of the lessons that I taught my son when we first got our dog. He is responsible for feeding and caring for our dog and takes the responsibility seriously.

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