1.) Emphasize safety first: Animals make wonderful companions, but under the wrong circumstances, the combination of kids and pets can take a dangerous turn. Children should know that pets sometimes need their space (like when they’re eating or sleeping). It’s also important for children to be taught how to properly (and gently) handle their pets and to never approach a strange animal. Supervision is also key for the safety of both the child and the animal.
2.) Do a good deed together: Some (not all) rescue organizations encourage families to volunteer together. This is a great opportunity for families to bond while giving something back.
3.) Lead by example: If your family is ready for a new canine or feline companion, opt to adopt from a local shelter or rescue. Walk your children through the process so they can feel the same pride you do in giving a happy home to an animal in need.
4.) Encourage responsibility: Teach your kids about the importance of pet care by including them in the responsibilities. Try making it enjoyable by going on a family walk with your canine companion every evening!