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How to take care of an animal in the family: the division of labor


Collaborating in the family to take care of a pet strengthens the family union and helps our children to take responsibility, as long as we share the tasks in the family!

How to take care of an animal in the family: the division of labor | Universomamma.it (source: adobe)

Many families adopt a animal domestic following the pressing requests of their children. Once they get this beautiful gift, however, children forget the promises made to take animal care. In many families children only think about playing with their furry friend and it is up to the parents to take care of them.

In doing so, however, a real opportunity is lost, which is to use the‘animal domestic as a tool to educate our children and make them more responsible. Take yourself care of an animal in fact it can favor the development in the child of his sense of responsibility, his patience and attention to the needs of others as well as strengthening his self-esteem. So the ideal, once theanimal domestic at home, share i homework related to his care.

Divide the tasks according to the age of the family members

animal homework
How to take care of an animal in the family: the division of labor | Universomamma.it (source: adobe)

In dividing the tasks, the first thing to do is to make a list with all the things that need to be done for our furry friends. Then it will be decided who will do what, taking into account the age of each family member.

  • It is important that the child is able with a little good will to carry out the task assigned to him, this will make him feel proud of himself.
  • It is important to show the child how each task is to be done and to give him time to learn how to do it; if necessary it can be divided into smaller parts to make it easier.
  • Right from the start, you have to decide what to do if the child completes his tasks perfectly.
  • It is important that there are rules for the pet as well: there will probably be places in the house where he cannot stay and we will all have to agree together what the rules are for him and what words and gestures to use to educate our animal friend. For example, rules that exist in all houses are:
    • do not disturb the animal while it sleeps or while it eats
    • always wash your hands after playing with him or touching his objects

These rules will help both the child to become more responsible and the animal to know early on what it can and cannot do, reducing misunderstandings and frustrations.

Last but not least collaboration in the family to take care of a pet strengthens the family union.


Let’s now see the tasks based on the age of the child:

Up to three years the child does not differentiate between games and animals and cannot take care of the pet but can learn to respect it and not treat it like a soft toy.

Between three and six years the child can start helping to carry out very simple tasks always under the gaze of the mother or father:

  • clean and refill the water or food bowl
  • throw a toy to make the animal run and play with it

At six years old children begin to empathically understand what their pet feels and begin to treat it with respect: in fact, according to experts this is the right age to have a pet.

Between six and 10 years the child can take care of the daily needs of the animal such as

  • fill the bowl with water and food
  • reward him when he behaves well
  • play together
  • prepare them some homemade toys
  • collect his things around

All this as long as there is always adult supervision.

From 10 years old According to experts, children can deal with more complex and more responsible tasks such as

  • take them for a walk if it is a small or medium-sized dog even if always in the company of an adult
  • help him bathe
  • clean the cat litter box
  • brush the animal
  • participate in training lessons

It is essential that the needs of the animal are always protected by the final supervision of an adult who watches over the situation.

Adults some tasks can only be done by an adult such as

  • the administration of certain medicines
  • walking a dog considered potentially dangerous by law


These are generic indications then it is up to each parent, based on the development and personality of their child and their pet, to assess whether the task is suitable for the child or to increase the level of responsibility.

However, parents must always take responsibility for what happens in their home, monitoring interactions, educating pets and teaching their children how to treat them.


divide tasks

How to take care of an animal in the family: the division of labor | Universomamma.it (source: adobe)

So dear Unimamme, teach your children to take care of their pets as stated on foundation-affinity. Personally, I believe in it a lot and since we have 3 cats of different ages in my family, our children help us to take care of them: they brush them, feed them, change their water several times a day, play with them and pamper them all and three, dividing the time they have equally. Sometimes they are also worried about some ailment: if the oldest, Arsenius, limps; if the always old Margot pees around the house; if Minu, the little girl of the house, is hidden and cannot be found anymore. Anyway as a mother, when I see them at work I feel very proud of them!

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