Show Your Child How to Help Out With the Family Dog Regardless of Age

Almost all kids love dogs. If you’re thinking of getting a dog for your family, or already have one and would like to teach your child the responsibilities of owning a pet, then you should get your child involved with the day to day care of the dog. They can help out regardless of age – you’ll just need to alter certain things and supervise them. Here’s how you can get your child to help out:

  • 2 Years – at this age your child should be getting used to your dog, however; you should always supervise the both of them. An exposure to pets at an early age will give your child a lifelong love of animals.

  • Ages 2-4 Years – it isn’t uncommon for kids at this age to act out around pets and handle them inappropriately. At this age, you need to teach the kids to respect your dog’s space and learn what is not allowed when dealing with your dog. This is important both for the dog and the child. Teach them how to stroke the dog properly.

  • 4 Years – you can get your child to brush the dog for a few minutes with supervision.

  • 5 Years – you can encourage your child to help you walk the dog at this age by holding on to the lead with you. You shouldn’t let them hold on to the lead alone though. They can also feed the dog a treat with an open palm.

  • 6 Years – you can teach 6 year olds to give commands to your dog without confusing them. Supervised play can also be introduced at this point.

  • 7-8 Years – with supervision, 7-8 year olds may be able to hold the lead on their own. This should only be with a small dog or a well trained large dog. This should be in an enclosed, safe space to start with. Make sure they don’t overuse commands with your dog.

  • 9-10 Years – your kids can be given a little more responsibility at this age. Teach them how to feed and water your dog, with what he eats, how much of it, and encourage them to get involved with the routine. They should also help keep the dog’s area tidy.

  • 11 Years – your child will need minimal supervision with the dog now. You should still monitor what they’re doing from a distance however.

  • 12 Years – this is a good time to start teaching them about your dog’s health and what to look out for in regards to problems.

  • 13-14 Years – your child will now have the skills needed to care for your dog as you supervise from a distance. However, it’s important to make sure that they don’t lose an interest or start cutting corners. You could even introduce the child to chores for pocket money, such as washing the dog’s bowls and giving them flea treatment from

As your child undertakes the tasks above, it’s important not to push them into anything that they really don’t want to do. By easing them into caring for a dog this way, you will have created a future responsible pet owner!

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