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How Pet Ownership Can Help You Teach Your Child Responsibility

It’s never too early to start teaching your child how to have empathy and compassion for living things. Having pets in your home gives you the opportunity to show your child the joys of caring for a living being, and also the responsibilities of pet ownership.

Encourage Independence & Accountability

Giving your child pet-related chores gives them the chance to prove they are responsible and that you can trust them. When you make them responsible for certain aspects of your pet’s care, you are telling your child that you believe they are capable of doing important chores. This will help them gain independence, as well as accountability. They will know that you are counting on them to do these chores, and that if they don’t remember to do them, you’ll be (mildly!) disappointed.

A Better Understanding of Compassion & Empathy

Compassion and empathy can be taught to very young children, and as their emotional intelligence grows, they will be better able to navigate the world. By giving your child the responsibility of taking on some pet care tasks, you are also teaching them how to nurture and care for a living being. They will carry that lesson throughout their entire life!

Importance of Safety

Another lesson your child will learn when you give them pet-related responsibilities is the importance of safety. Your child will need to learn how to safely and gently interact with your pet, practice patience, and protect your pet from harm. Never give your child the sole responsibility of keeping your pet safe, but explain to them how to care for your pet, keep doors closed, keep your pet in the yard, and make sure the pet is leashed when outside of your home.

When you bring a new pet into your home, take your child with you when you bring your pet to its first visit to the veterinarian. This will help your child understand more about the responsibilities associated with pet care.