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Tips for Teaching Your Kids To Care for a New Dog

There are many benefits to bringing a dog into the family picture. It helps your child build bonds, learn responsibility, and teaches them how to positively love something. With these tips for teaching your kids to care for a new dog, you’ll feel more comfortable moving forward. 

Dog Ownership Teaches Kids Responsibility

When it comes to adding a dog to your family, it will be a lesson in responsibility for your kids in many ways. Teaching children to understand the tasks associated with caring for a pet will help them become autonomous, accountable, and more compassionate.

Special Needs Pets Teach Kids Compassion

disabled boxer in dog wheelchair

Many dogs that are often left unadopted have health concerns or physical disabilities. These dogs need a loving and understanding family to show compassion and give them a second chance at life. Many physically disabled dogs simply do not have the tools they need to be successful. Consider adopting a pup that needs a little bit more care, as it will benefit both the dog’s life and the lives of your family members.

Many dogs—old and young—experience mobility issues. This can land them on the “to be euthanized” list because shelters don’t have the time or resources to properly care for these canines. With a little support from the right family and a company like Walkin’ Pets, a dog with mobility issues can live a very happy life. Walkin’ Pets supplies front and rear leg support, slings and harnesses to help lift, and carts for disabled dogs. Allowing dogs to move around independently has the ability to change their whole demeanor.

With the implementation of the proper supportive equipment, a dog considered “too impaired” will lead a happy and normal life. This teaches your children both acceptance for those who are different and need a little extra help, as well as how to be compassionate to all living things.

Caring for a Dog Teaches Kids the Importance of Routine

There are many ways that your kids can be involved in caring for your dog, here are a few simple tasks that any kid can do:

Feed the Dog

Children like structure because it lets them know what to expect throughout each day. This is true for canine breeds as well. The anticipation of an unknown event can cause anxiety. Teaching your children to feed a dog on a schedule will allow them to feel useful and bring order into their life and the dog’s life.

Walk the Dog

Pet parent walking with Older dog in her wheelchair by Walkin' Pets

Bathroom breaks are similarly important to animals and children. Missed opportunities or waiting too long may result in accidents. Encourage your child to clean up the dog’s accidents in the house, and ensure that they begin to truly comprehend the importance of taking the dog out regularly for bathroom breaks.

Additionally, as long as your dog isn’t going to overrun your child while walking, allow the kids to hold the leash. If they’re too small still, they can hold it with you. Part of being a responsible dog owner is not only taking your dog out, but cleaning up the messes they leave. Be sure to bring doggie bags to grab fecal deposits and let your children learn that responsibility.

Change Out Water

Just as we like fresh, clean water to drink, so does your dog. Prevention of bacteria growth or illness starts at the water bowl. This is certainly a job your children can handle doing. It’s a great small responsibility to have to simply refill the water bowl.

Join in on Obedience Training

Let your children be a part of your dog’s obedience training. This is another structural attribution that allows everyone to be able to communicate effectively and understand what is expected. Training is key in making sure your dog knows boundaries with people and within your home. Establishing expectations will allow everyone to cohabitate more fluidity.

Dogs Teach Kids How to Respect Others

Comforting German Shepherd Wheelchair

An important part of taking on a pet, especially with children, is teaching them to respect other living beings. Respect teaches your child how to not only care for a dog but do it with love and intent. Dogs are sensitive and intuitive. You want them to feel safe and calm so that you and your family can build a safe and calm life together.

Carrying Out Responsibilities

Touching on responsibilities once again, carrying out these tasks is a sign of love and respect for your animal. Ensuring they are properly fed, watered, walked, and cared for allows for bonds to be made between your family and your furry friend. Maintaining responsibilities shows the dog that he is important to you because you stick to the routines he has come to count on. Failure to allow him to relieve himself, eat, or drink in a timely manner speaks volumes about the way you care for your pet.

Appropriate Tones

Along with respect comes the tones you use with your dog. As previously mentioned, these animals are sensitive and intuitive. If you or your children aren’t using the proper inflection at the right times, it will be confusing for the dog. Save your serious or angry tones for times when the dog has seriously done something wrong.

When you’re happy with your dog, your voice should reflect that. You don’t want your dog cowering all the time because you or your children aren’t using appropriate modulation and tone while speaking to him. Anxiety can initiate a lot of other issues in a canine, so being conscious of that will help.

Gentle Hands

Teach your child to use respectful touching with your dog, the same as you would with people. Dogs can’t tell us what’s happening. Hitting or climbing on the dog should never be permitted. Dog’s bodies and minds are sensitive. Climbing them could result in serious joint or leg damage, partial or full dislocations, and more. Dog’s age quickly, relative to humans. Teaching your children to respect and take care of your dog will allow them to live the longest, most comfortable lives possible. Being physically kind will keep them calmer and happier as well.


Everyone has personal boundaries that they wish not to be crossed. Dogs and humans alike can indicate that they are uncomfortable with proximity or an action that’s occurring. It’s important that you teach your children to respect your dog’s boundaries by giving them space when they’re eating, amongst other things. They should let your dog come to them. Dogs shouldn’t feel as though they don’t have an area to be left alone inside your home.

There are many tips for teaching your kids to care for a new dog. You may have some of your own. At the very core, it’s all about teaching responsibility and respect. If those two main categories are kept in mind and expanded upon, your family is sure to be happy with your canine addition. Dogs and children enrich our lives, and teaching them to respect each other at an early age will allow for safe cohabitating and great love and happiness for all. 

Tips for Teaching Your Kids To Care for a New Dog

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