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Which Pet Chores Are Appropriate for Children?

There’s a big difference between loving a pet and actually caring for a pet, especially in the case of children. While you want to show your child how to take good care of your pet, they can’t always handle every task that comes with pet ownership. By giving your child specific tasks to do that are appropriate for their age, you can help them create a healthy bond with your pet and any pets they may own in the future. 


Handing a leash to a young child under 6 isn’t a good idea, as their ability to control a pet hasn’t fully developed. This is regardless of the pet’s size–even small dogs can pull small children along with them. That said, children can always join you on walks, and as they grow older, you can begin training them to handle a leash properly. As your child grows up, you can begin to teach them how to use a leash. 

Meals & Feeding

Feeding a pet requires special consideration, especially with children under the age of 6. While adults should always measure out portions, younger children can engage in the process by placing food in the pet’s bowl and then handing the bowl to the pet under direct supervision. Progressively involving children (age 7 and up) in feeding routines, including clean-up, encourages the development of responsible pet care habits.


Playtime should always occur under the watchful eye of an adult who can manage the pet if needed. Particularly for children under 6, distinguishing between playful and overly rough behavior can be challenging, so it’s important to teach them these boundaries early on. 

Consult Your Veterinarian for Expert Guidance

If you’re not sure which pet care responsibilities are suitable for your child, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian. They can advise you on the best ways to introduce healthy routines to your children.