5 Big Reasons Owning a Childhood Pet Inspires Responsibility

Owning a pet can be a wonderful experience for children of all ages. Pets provide children with a companion when they are feeling lonely or just want some company on a rainy day. Pet ownership can also teach kids to be empathetic and help children learn to develop relationships with others that are loving and kind. Having a pet can also teach a child responsibility as well. Kids can learn to be more responsible if some rules are put in place first.

Sticking to a Schedule
Sticking to a schedule is an important part of assuming adult responsibilities. Adults must be at work on time every single day. Owning a pet can help a child learn to do things on time. A dog must be walked at a certain time of the day. A pet must be fed in the morning before the child leaves for school. The child who can make sure their husky is walked at four in the afternoon each day is the child who be able to stick to a schedule.

Age Appropriate Chores
Another way that owning a pet can help teach a child to be more responsible is when a parent gives the child pet related chores that are age appropriate. Even a three year old can fill a water dish. Older kids can clean litter boxes and give a dog a bath.

Making Decisions
Owning a pet means making decisions. Intelligent decision making is an important part of being an adult. A child will need to make choices such as deciding on the name of the pet, figuring out where they can sleep each night and picking out food for the animal. This can help the child gain a sense of mastery and control in life.

Teaching Others
Part of owning a pet means teaching others how to care for it as well. A child may need to explain to another adult how to behave around the dog or what their cats wants to eat when the child is going on vacation and needs to leave the pet behind in someone’s care. Children can learn the art of teaching others. This can help them become more responsible and confident. They are the experts on the care of their pet.

Time Management
A child who cares for a pet learns how to determine what is important during any given time. They learn that if they want to be at soccer practice after school, they will need to make sure the dog has everything it needs until they are able to check on them. Prioritizing tasks is a skill that will carry over into a productive adult life.

Pet ownership is an opportunity for teachable moments. We created the My Central Pet Care Pet Contract to help you guide your children through their pet ownership journey. Download your FREE copy here.

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