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How to Prepare Your Child for His First Pet Dog or Cat
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  • When your child gets to watch movies like “The Secret life of Pets”, “Bolt”, and “Garfield”, do they become curious about owning a pet themselves and ask if they could have one?

    Being a pet owner is a good experience for kids, but utmost guidance is required because having a pet is a big responsibility. To educate your little one, here are a few helpful tips:

    For dogs:

    1. Decide if you want to get a small or a big dog.
    There is a difference between raising a small dog and a big dog. Try to match whether their size would be able to fit your family’s lifestyle. A big dog will be difficult to care for in a small space. Make it a family decision and consider the preferences and suggestions of each member.

    2. Train your dog.
    Teach the most basic yet important commands and train them to be home smart first before teaching awesome tricks. One of the most important commands to be taught are to come when called, to “let go” of anything that they put in their mouth, and teaching them where to poop or pee.

    3. Visit the vet regularly.
    A help from an expert is strongly advised to keep your pet dog healthy. For first-time owners, a visit to the vet every three-four weeks for vaccinations until they are 16 weeks old is recommended. Go to the veterinarian even if your pet is not sick. Consult them about your observations of your pet.

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    For cats:

    4. Visit an animal shelter.
    There are a lot of animals like cats in the animal shelter who are abandoned or rescued. These cats are in need of love, care and shelter, and if you're looking to adopt one, a shelter is the best place to look. Try the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (click here).

    5. Create a list of what to feed your cats.
    Some food that humans love to eat can be very dangerous to pets. Cats are carnivorous, so it is not advised to feed them vegetables unless they are sick. Chocolates and raisins are harmful to most pets, too. These are just few of the things we need to know about cat feeding. Create a list of food that you can only feed your cats, and post it where everyone in the house can see it.

    6. Observe your cat’s body language.
    Did you know that you can determine what your pet cat is feeling just by looking at its tail? If it's pointing upward it means it's happy and playful, while a tail pointing downwards between the legs indicates fear. Observing your cats will make you understand and know them more. It also creates a special bond between pets and owners!

    As Sir Ransom Rogers, author of The Small Big Book of Dogs!, “You don’t need to be a professional to be a good friend to your pets. Learn by doing”. Taking care of pets is unending, and so is learning about them. The more you spend time with your pets, the more you will learn.

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    For more tips for kids on being a great pet owner, get a copy of Meow and Furever: Growing Up with your Cat, written by Dr. Ma. Rosario S. Rancho, and Bantay: The Cat who Wants to Be a Dog, written by Alvin Gale Tan. All titles mentioned above are available at Pumplepie.  

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