Having a pet is a wonderful experience for the entire family. Countless studies show that pet ownership improves physical and mental health. Plus, pets bring endless joy to the families with which they live. Another benefit of having a pet is the way they can teach kids responsibility. For many kids, having a pet is a rite of passage, and it is a formative experience that teaches them lessons that they carry well into adulthood. Here are just a few of the ways that having a pet can help your child learn responsibility.
Pets can’t feed themselves, so they depend on their humans to give them food when they need it. For kids, this can be a powerful lesson about caring for someone other then themselves and taking the position as a caretaker for a beloved pet. Feeding pets also teaches kids the importance of sticking to a schedule when someone is counting on them, since if they slack off on feeding, their pets will be hungry and unhappy. Taking charge of pet feeding shows kids why carrying through with their jobs matters.
A milestone of development during childhood is the transition of kids seeing themselves as the center of the universe to seeing themselves as role players whose actions affect others. For kids, pets can initially seem like another toy that they can throw aside when they get tired of them. However, parents can help kids learn that pets need attention from their humans and how giving pets that kind of attention helps to make them happy. From this, kids can see how their actions can affect others in a positive way, if they make an effort.
Pets need to be cared for around the clock, even when people would rather be doing other things. Let kids help with letting dogs out in the middle of the night when they need to or stop them from playing until they help with changing the cat litter. These things teach kids that responsibilities need attention no matter what else they want to be doing.
Make kids part of your visits to Horizon Animal Hospital with your pets as well, so they are involved in every aspect of your pet’s care. For more information about vet care in Scottsdale, call (480) 800-4559.