This Dad’s Got Talent: Nick Cannon on Raising Toddlers and Pets

Nick CannonInterview by Ilyssa Panitz

Nick Cannon is in the dog house, literally! The America’s Got Talent host and husband of Grammy Award–winner Mariah Carey owns eight Jack Russell terriers. It’s no surprise, then, that Cannon teamed up with IAMS So Good to teach pet owners how to keep their loveable pooches happy and healthy. Parents.com caught up with the famous TV star to find out how he and his famous wife teach their children (2-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan) about animal safety.

How did you teach your toddlers how to pet the dogs? Did you and Mariah rely on a book or watch a video to teach your children how to pet the pooches?

Mariah was the one who taught them, because not only is she a long-time dog owner, but we had our puppies and kids at the same time. She demonstrated over and over how to pet the dogs nicely and with care. She would take our kids’ hands and let them do it so they really grasped the concept of how to be kind to the dogs. Over time, they got it. The kids are really good to the dogs and treat them like precious babies.

Do you and Mariah give the twins any jobs when it comes to caring for the dogs?

The kids love to help feed the dogs. They know when the dogs are hungry. When they see the bowls are empty, they say, “Daddy, we need to feed them, so put food in.”

When you and Mariah read books to the children, do they gravitate to stories about dogs? What’s their favorite book that has an animal as a main character?

They love stories about animals in general. They love stories that have to do with dogs, bears, and lions. They especially love lions right now! Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, is their favorite.

How do you get your children to play with the dogs?

The kids love to run around in the backyard with the dogs. Not only are they getting exercise, but they are really bonding with the dogs. As the dogs try to keep up with them, the kids laugh because they are having so much fun.

As a family how do you, Mariah, the children, and the dogs like to spend time together? Pets are known to get jealous sometimes when their owners have children. Have you experienced that?

We all go swimming, play with the ball, or go for a walk together. We do a lot together as a family. When we do family activities that include the dogs, they never feel left out.

In addition to pets being a big part of your life, I assume music is, too?

Music is on all day long. The kids love when we sing them lullabies to sleep. During the day, we play a lot of soul music. The kids are naturally musically inclined and they love listening to it.

 

Photo credit: Provided by IAMS

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