4 Ways to Prepare Your Child
Get your child ready for your new family member. Make sure he knows what to expect and how to interact with your pet. If he is going to be involved in caring for your pet, he'll need to know what's required in taking on that responsibility. Here are four tips on getting your child ready:
1. Discuss the needs of the animal. Buy books on pet care and make sure your child is aware of the responsibilities that come with caring for the new arrival.
2. Visit a friend who has a pet. Let your child learn how to interact with the pet and see firsthand what caring for a pet involves.
3. Express the seriousness of the commitment. Make sure that your child won't lose interest in caring for the pet several weeks or months after the family adopts it. Let your child know that you are unwilling to jeopardize the well-being of the pet because of his neglect.
4. Teach your child about pet safety. Make sure he knows the correct and incorrect ways to interact with a pet to prevent injury. Insist that he practice reasonable hygiene around an animal, such as washing his hands after playing with a pet or before eating.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics