How to Involve your Child in Daily Dog Care

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Encouraging our children to have an active role in dog care has so many great benefits.  This discussion is part of a #ProPlanPet shop compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. This is my story with my experience and opinions.  #CollectiveBias

All of our farm pets are family and equally loved and cared for, but I’ve often found that each family member generally has a favorite and for my youngest son, it’s our youngest Great Pyrenees, Snowflake.  These two are great buddies, constantly sitting down for a chat, hiking up our hills or just simply hanging around in the yard.  Watching my son interact with Snowflake is truly a joy – I can imagine the secrets and tales those two exchange!

How to Involve your Child in Daily Dog Care #ProPlanPet #Ad #cbias

Despite this constant camaraderie, other than feeding her the occasional treat, I realized my child wasn’t very involved in Snowflake’s daily care.  I’m guessing many moms can relate to the scenario that happens around our farm – everyone wants and dotes on our animals, but it’s mom who makes the major decisions and takes care of the daily chores!  Not that I mind, actually, but I also know it’s beneficial to have my children more involved with caring for our pets.

Learning about and caring for pets:

  • encourages your child to understand the importance of responsibility to others
  • strengthens the bond between pet and owner
  • offers valuable life lessons about health
  • sets children up to be respectful pet owners in the future
  • and generally helps mom out! (But do keep in mind, it’s important to oversee the pet’s care and all activities.)

How to Involve your Child in Daily Dog Care #ProPlanPet #Ad #cbias

I decided a great place to begin involving my son in daily dog care activities was to have him help out with food selection and feeding time.  As a preteen, he’s more-than-ready to take on this daily chore and to understand the importance of and help select the best nutrition for his best pal.  To help with this “pet education session,” the best and most beneficial classroom in our area would be PetSmart.  Off we went to explore!  We shop PetSmart regularly, but this time the trip was special.  I could see the sense of pride beaming in my son’s eyes and his curiosity was contagious.  We headed for the Purina aisle and scoured the selections in search of the best Purina® Pro Plan® formula for Snowflake.

We totally lucked out during our PetSmart shopping trip as a Purina representative was on-hand helping customers in the aisle.  (One of the reasons I truly love PetSmart, the employees and special representatives are always available to help and always so pleasant and knowledgeable!)  My son and I asked about the differences in the Purina® Pro Plan® formulas and blends and found out oodles of information such as Purina® Pro Plan® is designed to be nutrition that performs.  The dry dog food has real meat as the #1 ingredient and each ingredient is selected intentionally for a specific purpose to promote optimum health for various sizes, breeds and needs of dogs.

How to Involve your Child in Daily Dog Care #ProPlanPet #Ad #cbias

My son was the one who spotted the Purina® Pro Plan® Focus Giant Breed Formula for adult dogs over 100 pounds.  We were thrilled by this discovery as we’ve purchased large breed formulas in the past, we’d never seen one that catered specifically to giant breeds like our Great Pyrenees Snowflake (who happens to weigh in at 110!) After evaluating the attributes such as chicken as the #1 ingredient and natural sources of glucosamine and EPA, I knew this was totally the formula for our dog.

It was also a highly teachable moment as my son had no idea what glucosamine was and why it may be important for a giant breed dog food to contain sources of glucosamine.  We chatted for awhile about how giant breed dogs tend to deal with joint functionality and mobility issues, particularly as they begin to age a bit. My son decided then and there that his vote was for the Purina® Pro Plan® Focus Giant Breed Formula and I whole-heartedly agreed!

How to Involve your Child in Daily Dog Care #ProPlanPet #Ad #cbias

From that point forward, there wasn’t one ounce of coaxing to have him help with feeding Snowflake each day.  The fact that he had a say in what food would be in her bowl and felt confident that she was getting quality food made feeding time more a treat than a chore.  Of course as an active preteen, he’s not always available to help out when it’s feeding time, but he always checks her bowl when he gets home and often asks to make sure that we took care of it.  Lesson of empathy and responsibility like that certainly cannot be bought, and they sure do feel priceless!

My next goal is to get him involved more with grooming, but for now, I think the best beneficial activity is to simply let him take care of the most important part of dog ownership:  showering her with daily doses of affection!

How to Involve your Child in Daily Dog Care #ProPlanPet #Ad #cbias

HOT TIP: Visit the Purina® Pro Plan® MyPLAN website to get your dog’s MyPLAN recommendation and a rebate offer for a free bag of Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Dog Food (4-6lbs, up to $18.99.) Good only in U.S.A. A.P.O’s, F.P.O’s. Void where taxed, prohibited, restricted. Allow 6-8 weeks for shipment. LIMIT ONE REQUEST PER INDIVIDUAL, ADDRESS, or EMAIL ADDRESS. Offer expires 04/30/2015. See full terms.

Are your children actively involved with dog care in your home? What are some of your best tips for encouraging their involvement? 


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Tags: Animals, Dogs, family
by
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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Comments

    • Daisy
    • April 12, 2015
    Reply

    I agree that there are so many great benefits to teaching children to be responsible with pets. Thanks for that rebate offer too – you can’t beat that deal!!

    • Matthew's Mom
    • April 12, 2015
    Reply

    Snowflake is too cute! I agree with integrating kids with pets to make them more responsible. We also like Purina brand – they are a brand that I trust.

    • toughcookiemommy
    • April 12, 2015
    Reply

    My older son is responsible for caring for and cleaning up after the dog. It’s a great way to teach him how to care for others.

    • satrntgr
    • April 12, 2015
    Reply

    Great tips – I know our son said he would clean up after our dog when we got him and he still hasn’t done that. Thank God for husbands!! 🙂

    • Jenna Wood
    • April 12, 2015
    Reply

    I didn’t even know there was such thing as ‘giant breed’ formula dog food- your dog certainly qualifies! It’s so endearing to see the bond your son has with his pup! #client

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      Right? The giant breed formula was totally new to us, too. Loving it so far as are our dogs! Thanks for the lovely feedback!

    • Jeannette
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    These are great tips and it is so important to involve your child. It teaches them a great sense of responsibility and helps them bond. That is one beautiful dog too! My sons would love a dog that large!

    • Rosey
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    That is a giant breed, and he’s gorgeous. 🙂 I think it’s awesome that you’re educating about the right care/food for him!

    • Frugal and Fun mom
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    My children assist in the walking and feeding of our dogs. We have boxers so they are a great bred to work with.

    • Penny Struebig
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    I bet your son is loving having that beautiful dog! I love the fact that your son has to help with his pet’s care.

    • DB and The Princess (@EatSleepCruise)
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    Your dog is so awesome. It is great that you are teaching your son about how to be responsible and take care of your family pet.

    • Liz Mays
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    It’s so nice to find the perfect food for your dog. I agree that pets are awesome ways to teach responsibility to the kids.

    • Linda Kinsman
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    We love posts that show your boys with your beautiful dogs! We don’t have any dogs, but we have three cats. Like you, I was doing most of the chores with them until a few months ago when we added the evening feeding and love checks on our daughter’s chore lists. Now they are much more aware of the likes and dislikes of each of our cats and will often ask me how they were doing the day while they were at school.

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks Linda for your lovely comments! They are certainly some of my favorite photos to take and share, too. Awesome that the girls are involved with cat care, it’s so cool what a difference it makes in their understanding and closeness with the pets. Only 1 cat on our farm right now, but hoping to expand the family soon.

    • Vera Sweeney
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    Chores are very important for kids to do. I think the responsibility of a pet is great for their development! These are great tips!

    • Nancy
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    How sweet! A boys best friend is right. I love that he is right interested in taking care of the family dog as well 🙂

    • Stephanie
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    Wow, Snowflake is a BIG dog compared to what I’m used to! My dog Maggie was only about 19 lbs at her heaviest. I agree that owning pets is a great way to teach kids responsibility and love. We rent at the moment, so we’re sticking with a goldfish we got from the fair!

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      She sure is, Stephanie! lol We have a second Great Pyrenees, too, and he’s even bigger, but they are such wonderful, lovable dogs to have in the family. Goldfish are a lot of responsibility, too, so kudos on that! 🙂

    • Coralie
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    This is so important! We have four kids and even our youngest (3) loves to help feed and water the dog, brush him, play games, and more. I love that they love it and it is good for them and our dog.

    • Nicole Herose Escat
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, I don’t have a dog but I had a cat. This is very important especially when we have toddlers.

    • Betsy @ BPhotoArt.com
    • April 13, 2015
    Reply

    Having a pet is a great responsibility for kids. My toddler is so proud that he has fish to take care of, and has even been remembering to feed them. He also helps with the cats, and is hoping for a dog (not right now).

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      That is so sweet! And what a wonderful time to get your child engaged in helping, you are instilling some wonderful lifelong values there!

    • Rebecca Swenor
    • April 14, 2015
    Reply

    It is truly awesome to have the kids help in the care of the dogs. My boys always took turns helping with our dogs. Snowflake is just adorable in the pictures with your son. Thanks for sharing.

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks for the wonderful feedback and lovely compliment on the photos!

    • Shanéy Vijendranath
    • April 14, 2015
    Reply

    I love this post! We thinking about getting a dog so this really helps me.

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks for the awesome feedback Shaney! So glad we were able to offer some good, timely information for you to use.

    • Micah David Bella
    • April 14, 2015
    Reply

    I agree. There should be shared responsibility when it comes to taking care of our pets. Thanks for sharing!

    • HilLesha
    • April 14, 2015
    Reply

    My son isn’t responsible with dog care as he should (I’m often left with all of the work). However, we’re definitely working on it. 😉

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      Working on it is great! All good things certainly take time, glad you are taking steps to involve him more.

    • Fi Ní Neachtáin
    • April 14, 2015
    Reply

    We don’t have a dog at the moment but I’d love to get one for my son. I’d involve him in the care of the dog and show him just how much responsibility keeping a pet is.

    • Elaina
    • April 14, 2015
    Reply

    This is a great way to get kids involved and teach them responsibility!

    • Myrabev
    • April 16, 2015
    Reply

    I remember back in Zambia when we convinced my parents to allow us to have a dog and chickens, mum made sure we understood what we needed to do daily and we were so happy when she agreed. We cared for our dog but I must admit the majority of the work she did.

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      Sounds like you had a great mum! And I had to giggle a little as this mum knows about about doing the majority of the work lol

    • Kiwi
    • April 17, 2015
    Reply

    That is so cute to involve your children in the dogs lives. My aunt got my younger cousin dog many moons ago when he was 11 or 12…a really big dog at that and my cousin promised to take care of it. He lied, its been 10 years and my aunt has taken care of a big dog that she was deathly afraid of day one – and my cousin never took care of it. Moral of the story, your kids want a pet…give them responsibility to take care of it.

      • Barb Webb
      • April 18, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks Kiwi! Totally agree, it’s so important to keep the children involved with pet care!

    • JenJacqs
    • March 4, 2016
    Reply

    My children love pets too. It’s a good thing for them to share in taking care of our pets. I just like looking at cute animals and makes me less stress too. Btw, Snowflake is adorable. 🙂

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