Numerous guardians receive a pet by yielding to the demand of their kids and with the guarantee to deal with the creature. So pets, by themselves, don’t make children more responsible. Instead, dividing the tasks related to pet care is an important educational tool that can foster the development of a sense of responsibility in the child, can enhance their patience and self-esteem, and can help them understand and respect the fact that other individuals need food, care and affection.
Homework based on age
So children should be involved in pet care, but at what age and with what tasks? Each child matures at a different pace, but in general:
Up to the age of 3 , the child cannot differentiate between a pet and a toy. At this age, the child does not participate in pet care, but parents can teach him respect for the pet from the start, although the child’s level of development will lead to an understanding of the feeling of respect a few years later.
Between the ages of 3 and 6 , the child can lend a hand in carrying out simple tasks and always under the help and supervision of an adult: the child can help clean and refill the water or food bowl or can throw a toy for the pet to run around.
At age 6 , children begin to understand that animals can feel pain and understand directions on how to treat an animal respectfully and without harming it. In fact, according to many experts, this is the right age for children to have a pet.
Between the ages of 6 and 10 , the child can continue to take care of tasks such as filling the water and food bowl, giving the pet a treat, playing with it, making household toys for him, collecting his toys, etc. as long as parents continue to supervise the interactions between pet and child.
It is from the age of 10that, according to experts, children can take charge of the care of pets and can participate in tasks of greater responsibility such as, for example, feeding them, walking a small or medium-sized dog (and always in the company of an adult), help him bathe, clean the cat’s litter box, brush the pet, attend training classes, etc.
Nonetheless, it should not be forgotten that although the child is able to complete certain tasks, it is essential that an adult checks daily that the pet’s needs are being met. However, some tasks, such as administering certain medicines or walking a dog considered potentially dangerous by law, can only be performed by an adult.
These tasks are merely indicative: children are not all the same in development and personality, and neither are pets . Therefore, adults must continually evaluate the tasks suitable for the child and increase the level of responsibility as the child grows. And don’t forget that adults should supervise children who care for pets or play with them – parents continue to be responsible for avoiding accidents around the home, monitoring interactions, educating pets and teaching their children how to treat them.
Divide the tasks For Dogs Care
In the division of tasks, the first step is to draw up a list of all the tasks to be performed and at what time . The tables “Homework to take care of your dog” and “Homework to take care of your cat” will help you with the list. Next, it is necessary to decide among all who will do what, taking into account that the tasks must be suitable for the child, to make him feel proud of his achievements.
Once the tasks have been established, it is important to show the child the right way to accomplish each task, even breaking it down into smaller parts. It is then necessary to ensure that the child repeats it and has the time necessary to make mistakes and learn. It is also necessary to define from the beginning what to do when the child completes the assigned tasks perfectly.
In addition to dividing the basic tasks for the care of the pet, there are tasks common to all members of the family, namely that of respecting the basic rules of coexistence . In this case, each home is different and each family must agree and establish the house rules regarding the pet.
For example, it will be necessary to establish which are the places in the house where the pet can stay or not, if the pet can sleep in people’s bed, if he can be given food from the table, if he can get on the sofa, etc. and it is necessary to agree which words and / or gestures to use for his education. However, there are rules to be respected in all homes, such as not disturbing the pet while it sleeps or eating and, in general, not irritating the animal and always washing your hands after playing with it or touching any object. belong, such as the food bowl, doghouse, etc.
Compliance with these rules will not only increase the child’s sense of responsibility, but will also help the pet know what his family expects at all times , reducing frustration and misunderstandings. Furthermore, shared collaboration and pet care according to common rules offer the possibility of sharing experiences and help to strengthen family unity and awareness of a common commitment.
How to deal with dogs of people in coronavirus quarantine
At the moment there is no evidence that pets can transmit the infection , but to avoid that the hair can act as a vector to the virus, all precautions must be taken in case of suspicion, or confirmed coronavirus infection, and therefore avoid contact. direct and close. The Ministry of Health has long since issued guidelines (1), which today are always useful and which we report. There are two scenarios considered, the first when the household, or the owner, is quarantined at home (scenario A) and the second when he is hospitalized (scenario B).
Where possible, it is advisable to leave the dog at home and in case the family unit was in quarantine, and therefore unable to go out, to have the dog go for a walk and physiological needs with friends, relatives and in case volunteers. The person who will take the dog out will have to take all the necessary precautions, gloves, mask, avoiding contact with other dogs. In the case of hospitalization and therefore in the case of lonely animals, it is advisable to move them from their home by providing for a 72-hour isolation to minimize the viral load potentially present on the animal’s fur.