2001-Fri Feb 24 19:20:57 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. Owning a pet is one of the best ways to teach a child responsibility, empathy and compassion. But the possibility that your son will not hold up his end of the pet care bargain is a justifiable concern. The good news is that you can start to teach your son to take responsibility for his dog long before you bring the puppy home.
When I was 5, I wanted a Wire Haired Fox Terrier. My parents knew the benefits of raising children around dogs, but they weren’t sure I was ready for such a major commitment. To help prepare me for the responsibility of owning a dog, my parents gave me time to prove that I was able and ready to care for a pet before they agreed to let me bring a puppy home.
They started by telling me that I would be required to pay for the dog with my own money, to prove my long-term dedication; this took an entire year of saving my earnings from chores, as well as any money received as gifts. My parents also required me to read dog care books so I would have a thorough understanding of the work involved in owning and caring for a dog. Finally, my parents provided opportunities for me to spend time with dogs, which let them gauge my ability to be appropriately calm and gentle with these animals.
After I had saved up enough money — but before I picked out my puppy — my parents had me sign a contract that required me to care for her needs, all of which were clearly laid out. By articulating all responsibilities related to the dog up front and having me formally agree to them, my parents were ensuring that there would be no conflicts later on about who was supposed to walk the dog or clean up after her. When I finally brought my puppy home, I was ready for the commitment because I understood exactly what I was getting into — and my parents did, too.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Dogs and cats help improve our mental,
social and physical health — and we
have the science to prove it!
We asked our readers to share the funny
things and skillful tricks their dogs will do
to get Milk-Bone® Pill…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
Herding dog, search-and-rescue dog, guide dog, police dog, farm dog — you name it, the German Shepherd can do it.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.