There are loads of sad stories about dogs being mistreated by children. Even in households where there is more than one family pet some children would still not know how to behave properly. Teaching our kids how to treat dogs and other pets is important, and can even have a positive impact on their lives.
They say that a lot can be learned of a person just by looking at the way they treat animals. In this post we’ll give you some pointers on how to teach your kids to treat your pets with respect and kindness.
1. Respect is Key
You should make a point of teaching your children how to treat others and family pets with respect. Hone in on the fact that pets rely on humans to take care of them, to feed them and provide shelter. Don’t allow your child to physically hurt your dog, and point out that it is unacceptable behavior.
2. Education and Example
Children are very intelligent, and they learn by example. If they see you treating your dog badly, they are more likely to mimic this behavior. Talk with them about acceptable and unacceptable ways of treating pets, and show them by example. Ask them to help feeding pets and playing with them.
3. Supervision is Necessary
You don’t have to play the role of policeman, but keeping an eye on how your child behaves around the family pet is important. This will allow you to pick up on any unacceptable behavior and discipline your child on the spot. Tell her that you don’t allow that type of behavior and that it is unacceptable.
4. Have Open Discussions
Talk to your kids about respect and what it means. Tell them how it is our responsibility to take care of one another and also the pets in the house to ensure everyone is loved and happy. Your child will pick up on what is expected and what is considered to be unacceptable.
5. Hold Them Accountable for Ill-treatment
Keeping in mind that you are the adult and have to set the example, your children has to know that ill-treatment of the family pet will have consequences. Animal cruelty should not be taken lightly, and you should make sure your child understands that there are serious consequences when treating a dog poorly.
Having a dog is a major responsibility, as is having a child. Teaching your child how to treat animals and having a dog at home will benefit not only pooch, but also the child. Learn more about Cesar Milan’s view on kids and dogs here.