Most kids absolutely adore animals. (Okay, most just love the cute, fluffy ones. Anyway…) But there’s a huge difference between just loving to be around animals and actually caring for them.
It’s this second skill that’s much more important for kids to learn – whether they simply want to one day adopt their own animal, or they dream of one day becoming a veterinarian.
In this article, we’ll discuss the main things your little one needs to know about caring for animals, so that they can one day become responsible pet owners – or more!
Communication and Other Cues
Animals aren’t able to verbalize their feelings and emotions – which can certainly lead to trouble for those who don’t know how to read their body language.
But not all animals project the same body language, either. For example, dogs and snakes certainly don’t communicate their feelings in the same way. To take this even further, different species of dog have different ways of communicating their emotions. Similar to differing human personalities, individual dogs among the same species also communicate their feelings differently.
With all this said, it’s essential that you teach your child to understand the ways in which certain animals communicate feelings of happiness, fright, sadness, and anger. As we said above, remaining ignorant or aloof to these signs could spell danger for both the animal in question, and your child.
Health and Safety
Another lesson to impart on your child is the need to provide for the health and safety of animals in your care.
Perhaps most important is to teach your child about the animal’s feeding habits. Above all else, make sure they know that certain animals are only able to eat specific foods, and that going outside of these boundaries could cause the animal to get sick – or worse. Additionally, teach your child that, much like humans, animals feed on a schedule – and that schedule needs to be adhered to as closely as possible.
Another area of concern is how to keep animals clean and safe from disease. Again, the process of cleaning and bathing animals varies depending on their species, breed, etc. Additionally, children need to learn the importance of keeping their pet’s habitat clean.
Responsibility and Education
As we’ve alluded to, owning and caring for a pet isn’t all fun and games – it’s also a huge responsibility.
From feeding and cleaning animals to keeping them safe from weather and danger, your child needs to know that owning a pet requires them to make sacrifices, adapt to a new schedule, and do other things they might not exactly want to do.
Additionally, your child should understand that there’s always more to learn about their pets or the animals they care for. In fact, taking the time to learn as much as they can about their pet, it can be said, is one of the best ways to show they truly do care about animals in general.
While it might be hard work, the end result – having an animal that relies on them and cares about them – is completely worth the effort.
Learn About Animal Care in a Fun Environment
If your child is really into learning about and caring for their animal friends, you might want to consider signing them up for our Camp Emergency Vet. At this week-long day camp, your child will take part in advanced animal care lessons revolving around health, cleanliness, and emergency care.
Registration is currently open, so be sure to register as soon as possible to secure a spot for your little one, so they can get a head start on their path as a lifelong animal lover.