Taking care of a pet is a big responsibility, particularly if you decide to adopt a puppy or dog. As a parent, we sometimes cringe when our children beg for a puppy because we know it will mean more work, time and extra chores. Dog experts like Purebred Breeders suggest that a new canine family member will teach your child responsibility. According to Purebred Breeders, dogs teach children the following:
- A dog’s care requires your child to keep a routine and obligations.
- They’re responsible for a living, breathing thing.
- A sense of accomplishment.
- The opportunity to learn empathy.
Basic Dog Needs
So what does my child need to do to care for a dog? The basic care needs for a dog, according to About.com’s Dog Expert Jenna Stregowski, is proper nutrition, shelter, physical exercise and nurturing. These needs must be met by the child with the help and supervision of the parent, guardian. Below is a list of basic needs required from your child to care for a dog from Purebred Breeders and Jenna Stregowski with About.com.
- Assist your child in choosing a healthy, quality diet for your puppy or dog. Consult your veterinarian and ask for samples to determine what food is affordable, healthy and liked by your dog. Ensure you child keeps their dog feed and hydrated.
- While dogs thrive in a indoor environment, according to Jenna Stregowski, if your dog does remain outdoors they need adequate shelter from extreme hot or cold temperatures. If the dog comes indoors your child should be responsible to maintain the dog’s boundaries in the home, such as within a kennel or know the rooms or furniture it’s allowed to occupy.
- Your child is responsible for giving their puppy or dog daily walks and physical exercise. While some dogs need more exercise than others consult your veterinarian to know what your dog requires.
- Finally, your child will need to provide their dog with routine nurturing though training, grooming and socialization along with regular veterinarian checkups and vaccinations.
How to Utilize this Power of Responsibility
Before your puppy or dog is adopted ground rules need to be established with the parent, legal guardian and child. As suggested by Purebred Breeders, “Parents or guardians play a big role in the success of this process. It must first be understood that the child is getting the dog under certain conditions.” These conditions need to be planned in detail for the child so they know exactly what is expected from them. Purebred Breeders recommends parents should outline literally everything from daily feedings, keeping their dog’s water bowl full, walks, socialization, petting, house training, grooming and requirements for veterinarian checkups and vaccinations.
Every one of these responsibilities must be explained to the child as to how often these tasks must be done and, more importantly, the consequences if the child does not keep up with his or her commitment. This is where it can become tricky, Purebred Breeders believe, “…parents ought to exercise judgment. Remember that dog ownership will affect everyone, not just the young owner. Remember also that dogs need stability so only get one if someone is willing to take care of it, if the intended owner no longer wants to, it is unfair for the pooch to be abandoned for this reason.”
The goal as a parent or guardian, according to Purebred Breeders, is for your child and puppy to form a bond. This bond, in the end, will keep the child dedicated and loyal to her new best four-legged friend.
PurebredBreeders.com helps place puppies by connecting owners to a nationwide network of experienced dog breeders. PurebredBreeders.com screens their breeders and only associate with those who agree to adhere to their policies and procedures offering a 10 year guarantee on the puppies they place. PurebredBreeders.com is a proud contributor to the dog community through their “Donation Program”, donating a portion of their profits to local dog rescue organizations. For more information or to speak to one of their specialist regarding a new puppy, visit their website.
Purebred Breeders: How Dogs Teach Children Responsibility
Dogs.About.com: Your Dog’s Basic Needs