Pet Sounds: Lessons In Having An Animal At Home

For many people, a pet is like another member of the family. If they are treated with a lot of respect, it’s possible for a pet to teach you and your family a lot about the simplicity of caring for one another. Of course, with having a pet, whether a dog or a cat, the responsibility is huge. And while pets can offer a lot of wonderful memories, they are also something that can teach your children about healthy living, self-esteem and of course, responsibility. So if you are considering adding a pet to your household, there are numerous benefits as well as plenty of challenges for you and your children. So here is a breakdown of what your child may learn.

pexels-photo-341378

 

 

The importance of responsibility

This is the best place to start. For all the great things a pet can give you, from unconditional love to a lifetime of happiness, the major thing it will teach your children (and yourself) is responsibility. Of course, this is something that young children would benefit from learning right off the bat, but it can be a delicate balance to tread because it can be a lot of responsibility for a young child to learn instantly, which can result in the child feeling overwhelmed. So the best thing to do is to start off slowly in this respect. Letting your child develop a relationship with the pet by playing together and bonding will nurture the caring role a bit more naturally than giving your child a list of responsibilities.

 

Developing leadership with your child

An important aspect of looking after a pet, especially a dog, is to make sure that your child is firmly in command, which means teaching your child the basics in telling your dog to sit, to stay, etc. While the best classroom for this is by going out with the dogs so your child can practice the commands and reprimands accordingly, there are plenty of tools you can make the most of to ease your child into the role of leader. There are plenty of sources online, but there are also products such as bark collars which can be set to go off whenever the dog is barking which will help cut down on unwarranted noise. And there are numerous resources for the best bark collars online if you’re looking to go down the route of helping your child a little with their leadership and command of the dog. Respect is one thing, and it should be both ways, but ultimately your child has a responsibility for the pet, and so you need to instill a sense of leadership as soon as possible.

 

The health of the animal and yourself

It can be quite a shock to the system when you’ve never had a pet before, and you bring them home for the first time, it can result in a lot of damage or headaches on your part! Looking after yourself it is just as important as looking after your pet. By caring for a pet properly means making sure they are fed the right diet, exercised regularly and being bathed and cleaned. Looking after your pet means making sure that you clean your home regularly and if your child is old enough to pitch in around the house, they need to be very aware of cleaning if the dog makes a mess or damages something in the home, and so forth.

boy-1865138_640

 

 

The importance of behavioral awareness

It’s not just about leadership and giving the right commands to the pet, it’s also about checking how the children realize how their behavior is affecting the animal. By making your child aware of how they may be affecting the pet, for example, if you have a young child who is quite rough with the pet, when it comes to playing it may mean that the animal may feel pushed over the edge one day and this could result in the animal lashing out. So it is important to teach your child to adjust their behavior that results in a more well-adjusted and pleasant pet.

 

What having a pet does for the child

With any animal in the home, be it a dog or a cat, it means your child has a companion, and if you’re doing your job right and your child is treating the pet with the respect that it deserves then that pet will be a companion for life. We all know how loving dogs can be, but we also know how vicious they can be if they are not treated right. A pet that is friendly will reciprocate the message of love back to the child. This is a great builder of self-esteem for any child, but it is great for someone of any age. Self-esteem is vital to young children who can be overly sensitive to things like conflict, so by having a pet that is overly loving is a fantastic addition to a household, purely for the benefit of the younger members of the family.

 

The importance of coping with loss

It’s not nice to think about, but with any lifespan of a pet, they are far shorter than our lifespans. So it’s very likely that your child’s first experience of death might be the family pet. And if you managed to treat the situation with sensitivity and respect, this can teach your child a lot about life and death and could better prepare them for experiencing grief when they are older. For example, so they can understand the process better and figure out their own ways to go through the grieving process in a healthy manner instead of keeping their emotions bottled up.

 

Whatever the age of your children, whether they are toddlers or teenagers, if you are getting a pet for the first time, it can teach your children many things. And while it can teach your children the importance of responsibility, health, as well as the emotional repercussions of losing a pet, it can teach us all something, and it’s important to remember that.

 

Follow Kimberly Storms (LittleCrunchy) on Google+!