(WGHP) — Today is World Spay Day.
It’s a day set aside to focus on reducing pet population by making sure pets gets spayed or neutered.
So in this week’s Mommy Matters, we’re looking at ways to teach children to be responsible pet owners at any age.
Pets are a great way to help children learn about responsibility and empathy, and it can start at any age. “Pet Assure” has tips for pet responsibility for every age.
Toddlers-5 years old
At this age, nothing that a child does with a pet should be unsupervised, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them feel included in caring for their furry friend.
- Help parents feed pets. Parents should still be handling the food, especially for dogs, but little ones can be involved.
- Learning to clean and put away pet dishes
- Putting away pet toys, or helping mom and dad clean up messes.
- Helping with brushing and grooming.
5-10 years old
As kids grow, they can take on more responsibilities for pet care.
- Cleaning and maintaining pet areas, such as cleaning out beds, sweeping up pet hair and washing food dishes
- Grooming pets and, depending on the size of your pet and the child, they can take over bathing responsibilities.
- They can help with walking and exercise, but parents should probably still supervise
- And they can be the designated poop bagger on walks
10 and up
For kids over the age of ten, they can start handling almost every part of caring for their furry pals, from walking to bathing to feeding and playing.
Encourage your child to help take care of their pets. Recognize the good job they do when they help out, no matter how small the task it.
Reminding them to keep up their responsibilities can be frustrating, but resist the urge to guilt them.
Children are still learning the best ways to create routines and fulfill responsibilities, so making them feel bad doesn’t really help.