Helping to take care of pets is a perfect early responsibility for kids. My boys have been helping me with our dogs and cat since they were very small. And now that they are almost 4 they understand how important it is to take care of our pets every day and they take their job very seriously. If you have pets and kids, or are considering bringing a pet into your family, this free printable chore chart for your pet's needs is a must have!
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Taking Care of Pets
There are so many ways that kids can get involved in pet care, even at a very early age. Depending on your kids' ages and what kind of pets you have, you can have them help by:
- Feeding pets
- Filling water bowls
- Washing pet bowls
- Wiping down pet food mats or trays
- Picking up pet toys
- Cleaning up messes (I don't have my kids change the litter box yet, but they like to help me sweep litter scatter with their mini brooms).
- Letting dogs outside/back in for potty breaks
- Giving treats
- Playing with their pets
- Brushing pets
- Cleaning small animal cages/fish bowls
Using a Pet Chore Chart
As my boys have gotten older they've started to take on some of these responsibilities on a more regular basis. To help them remember what we need to do each day, I've put together this chart and I'm offering it to you too as a free printable! Just scroll to the end of the post to download your own.
The pet chore chart (or pet responsibility chart - my boys don't think of taking care of their pets as a chore) is perfect to help keep track of what our pets need every day, and will give your kids a visual reminder as well. Plus you can easily track at a glance who has been fed, if the litter box has been cleaned, etc. Perfect for busy households like mine!
Simply print your chore chart and fill in your kid's and pet's names at the top, then add each pet care task in the boxes on the left hand side. As each task is completed, have your child check it off in the correct box. It's so easy and works great!
You can print a new one each week or laminate it to use as a reusable dry erase board. (I love these self adhesive laminating sheets).
Scroll down to download your own chart.
Talking About Pet Responsibility
Our pets were part of our family before my twins were born, so they have grown up incorporating pet care into their daily routine. But if you are considering adding a pet to your family, using a pet responsibility chart is a great way to start the conversation about what your new pet will need and who will be responsible for each task.
A word of advice: please don't adopt a pet assuming that your kids will take full responsibility for its care. While they can and should be involved and have pet related chores, it is important for the adults in the family to have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the pets' welfare.
Reading books about pets and what they need is also a great way to prepare for a new pet! Check out a great book on pet adoption and some pet adoption resources here.
How do your kids help take care of your pets? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook and let me know!
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