Ready to pick out the perfect, cutest, most wonderful of all puppy? Bringing home a new puppy is a very exciting time for everyone in the house, especially young children. It’s also time to plan on how to care for the puppy, something that everyone in the house needs to pitch in to do. Taking care of a rambunctious pup is a full-time job, and your kids can get in on the act from day one. Here are seven responsible ways to teach children how to care for a puppy.
1. Feeding Time
Teach your children how to feed your puppy by showing them how much food they should get, setting a specific time for them to eat, and showing them where the food goes. It’s very important to stress the fact that dogs should never be bothered while they are eating. You can also have them help you wash out food and water bowls daily.
2. Bathroom Time
Kids can be a great help when it comes to taking the puppy outside for bathroom breaks, depending on a few factors. Younger children can come outside with the adult and help handle the puppy as they look for a spot. Older kids may be able to take the dog out by themselves, freeing you up for other chores. Teach kids to pay attention to the signs that show the puppy needs to use the bathroom.
3. Going for Walks
A great way to teach a child, even a young one, how to walk dogs is this- two leashes. Attach two leashes to the puppy’s harness or collar. The one for your child should be slightly shorter so that you have more control in the end. Walking your puppy together in this way will show your kids how to properly walk a dog without giving them too much of the responsibility.
4. Training Time
Puppies should be trained from day one. If you are training your new pet at home, allow your kids to be part of the process. If you decide obedience classes are a better idea, talk to the trainers to see if your kids can be part of the process. Either way, your new puppy should learn how to obey commands from everyone in the family, not just the adults.
5. Giving Medication
If your puppy needs medication, your children may have a lot of fun helping! If it is an oral medication, allow them to cover up the pills in cheese or another type of food and then show them how to give it to your puppy. They can also have the task of watching your pet to make sure they aren’t spitting out the medication.
6. Enjoying Playtime
Puppies have tons of energy, so be prepared to enlist the help of your kids when your puppy is ready to rumble! Explain to them how to play with the puppy carefully. Discourage tail pulling, hitting, jumping on or riding the puppy, and any other activity that could hurt your pet. With time and plenty of instruction, your puppy and kids can wear one another out!
7. Heading to the Vet
Let your child take part in any vet visits to show them how normal it is. They can help get your puppy into the car and then into the office. Give them the task of helping to keep your puppy distracted when you are in the office and around other animals. They can also ask a question of their own when you do see the vet. Explain why your puppy is there in simple yet real-life terms your child can understand.