You’ve been working hard to train your dog, and you’re proud of the progress she’s made. However, your kids have shown little interest in helping you train her, and it’s beginning to become more than you can handle alone.
Then you know that getting the kids to help feed the dogs can be challenging especially when those kids are very young. If you want to get them involved with feeding the dogs without worrying about having to pick up dog food from an online pet store. Luckily, there are ways to get your kids to help feed the dogs without losing your sanity along the way!
Why is it important to give a child a responsibility
Dogs are members of the family. This means they should be treated like part of the family. Feeding and taking care of your dog should be a task for all those living in your home, regardless of age. Teaching responsibility through housework is an excellent way to connect with our children and teach them valuable life skills.
Make it their project
Fill up a bowl with whatever you want them to give to the dog – dried or canned food, canned dog food, kibble, cereal, or crackers. Take them into a room away from the pets and do something for about 5 minutes like coloring, playing catch with a ball, or just talking about their day.
Bring them back and have them sit in front of the bowl so they can watch you open it and pour out their special treat while they watch excitedly waiting for what they’re going to get next. Ask them if they would like another round, but make sure they don’t overeat!
Choose a feeding schedule
There are three ways you can teach your kids to feed a dog. You’ll need to decide which schedule is best for you. Do you want them helping just a few times a week, or would they like to do it every day? Would they prefer feeding just one dog, or does everybody in the family have time for multiple?
No matter what type of feeding schedule you choose, we have ideas for how to make it work! First, buy some big bowls that are marked with each person’s name. These will be the only bowls allowed at the table and should be put away afterwards. If you’re not sure who likes what food, try going with easy options like kibble or canned wet food (don’t forget to pick up something that’s meat-based!).
Use these dishes as enticements after they finish their other meal, they’re welcome to take out whichever dish they feel like eating from. Dogs might also enjoy fresh veggies and fruit so let them eat those too!
Give them a proper container
A 1-quart (4 cups) container is perfect for giving your pup a meal but having a few extras on hand is always helpful when it comes time to give out snacks. Place them in different areas of the house and outside so they’re easy for all members of the family, as well as guests, to reach.
If you have a self-feeding dog, teach your children how to use it safely before they take full control. They should never leave their snack unattended or play around with it while their pup is eating. They should also always be present and engaged during feeding time so that they know not only what’s going on, but why!
Get an appropriately sized bowl for each dog
The first step is deciding how many bowls you will need. For instance, if you have four dogs, you might want two bowls per dog. On the other hand, if you have one or two dogs and have children over at least some of the time, then one bowl per dog might be sufficient.
One thing to remember when selecting a bowl is that not all sizes are created equal- your terrier mix may prefer an extra-large dish and your golden retriever may prefer a slightly smaller bowl with more depth than what you would use for an Irish setter.
Tell them what order to give the bowls in
The first bowl should be for water. Put it in front of where you will put the food. Next, put the food bowl out for your dog and then put out a second one in case your pup is a picky eater.
Fill up a third dish with treats if you want to give some to them when they are done eating. If you have more than one dog, put out an extra bowl for each additional pup!
Trying to teach kids how to care for animals is often a thankless job. One of the most difficult tasks is getting them involved in feeding or walking their pets. Although many children like playing with animals, few want to feed them or walk them. If you want your children to participate in daily pet care, plan and make it seem like fun so they will want to do it themselves instead of expecting you do everything.
Select easy-to-feed dry food such as kibble that doesn’t need to be moistened. Keep all the food bowls at ground level so your child can serve himself or herself. Don’t fuss if they’re not eating much remember that this may be a way for them to explore new textures and tastes without risk of choking on solid foods.
Set up a scoop toy like an old cup lid with some sand inside that’s just deep enough for an animal’s food dish, which will give your child an opportunity to practice scooping out food onto dishes by using this little sandbox.
After reading this, you’ll see that it’s not too difficult to teach children about caring for animals. Dogs are a very tolerant and forgiving animal and can’t speak up when they need something. They just sit patiently waiting for someone who cares enough to notice their needs. As an animal caregiver, it’s imperative that you teach this appreciation for what many would consider lesser beings, whether they be furry or human. Teaching your children how to care for animals at a young age will likely develop into a lifelong commitment of service and concern.