Children without pets commonly ask for a puppy or a kitten. But here are some topics to discuss with them prior to adopting a new pet. First, explain that pets are not toys, they are living creatures. As such, they can be moody, frightened, or just plain sleepy. They are also a big responsibility. Get your children to commit to taking care of it. If your children give it food and water, and clean-up after it, you can instill a greater sense of responsibility. It is also important for your children to realize that pets can be annoying at times and how to deal with it. Never hit an animal – it will only scare them or cause them to fight back. Most importantly, go over how to keep pets safe. Include what to feed your pet, keeping dangerous items away from them, keeping doors and gates closed, and so on. Of course, don’t forget to mention how wonderful pets are.
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