Kids And Pets
Pets are part of many children's lives and can provide a constant source of enjoyment, friendship and fun for all involved. Parental involvement and planning are necessary to help make pet ownership a positive experience for everyone. While all kinds of pets can bring children pleasure, it is important to choose a pet that is right for your family, your home, and your lifestyle; and one that your child can help care for. Taking care of a pet can help children develop social skills. However, certain guidelines apply:
- Children under the age of 3-4 years do not have the maturity to control their aggressive and angry impulses and should be monitored with pets at all times.
- Children under 10 years are unable to care for a large animal, a cat or a dog, on their own.
- Parents must oversee the pet's care even if they believe their child is old enough to care for a pet.
- If children become lazy in caring for a pet, parents may have to take over the responsibility on their own.
- Children should be reminded in a gentle, not scolding way, that animals, like people, need food, water, and exercise.
- If a child continues to neglect a pet, a new home may have to be found for the animal.
- Remember parents serve as role models and children learn responsible pet ownership by observing their parents' behavior.