How do pets teach responsibility

Pets for children: The little ones learn this with an animal family member

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Pets are for children a big topic and for many an absolute heart's desire. But with the acquisition of a dog, cat or another (small) pet, one can also do one huge responsibility hand in hand. Parents in particular ask themselves a lot of questions: Is my child ready for their own pet? How high are the acquisition and, above all, the running costs? Who actually takes care of the animal in everyday life? And what to do with your little roommate when you are on vacation?

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Inform together

Basically: All animals - even the smallest - need attention, care and attention. Before deciding on an animal family member, everyone should think about the Needs of the different animal species exact information. Talking to professionals like vets or visiting the animal shelter can help. It is also particularly helpful to yourself together with the children with the help of a book or documentation to provide detailed information about the properties, needs and demands of the desired animal. This enables parents and children to realistically assess whether the animal fits into the family and whether everyone can meet the requirements.

Pets for children: enrichment for the whole family

It is very important that Pets for children should never be bought lightly. Because as parents, we bear most of the responsibility for the life of a pet. In addition to dutiesthat go along with it are Pets for children are also a great asset. Because our offspring in particular learn from the additional family member for their entire life. Living with an animal can be very beneficial, especially for children and adolescents have a positive effect on the development of personality - Many experts agree on this. Pets can be especially for children namely Playmates and teachers be at the same time. But you as parents will soon notice how the little two-legged or four-legged friend (or six- or eight-legged friend) conquers your heart very quickly and is thought of as a full family member.

Pets for children: take responsibility

Clearly, an animal needs to be well cared for. This not only means regular feeding, but depending on the animal also includes (fur) grooming, walking for a walk or cleaning the litter box and, in any case, dealing with the pet. In this context, you should bear in mind that a sense of responsibility in children only grows with age. But nice Toddlers can share with one parent Take on smaller tasks. The older the child gets, the more work (such as mucking out stables or giving water) children can be given as independent responsibility. In this way, your child quickly learns to take responsibility. A valuable insight: My animal needs me and I have to take care of it regularly so that it is okay.

It is important that we as parents are always role models and are fundamentally responsible for the animal. The bigger the animal, the more care, attention and time it needs. As in parenting, everyday interaction with the animal also affects its behavior and how the interaction within the family works.

Recognize and respect needs

Personal interests are not always the other's priority - children quickly learn this when they look after a dog, cat or other pet. Because sometimes children want to play just when Kitty is taking a nap or when Bello wants to eat something. But even small children can tell when an animal needs to be fed or when the cat would rather be left alone. If it's yours Parents do the right thing. In doing so, children learn to put their own needs aside and to pay attention to what your own pet needs. These Promote empathy is an important social skill that also helps children interact with other kids.

Pets for children: emotional hold

The small family members give consolation and give unconditional love - an important experience for children | © PURINA

Often times are Pets, especially dogs, like siblings to children. They are very attentive and respond to the state of mind of the caregiver. If the kiddies are in a good mood and having fun, then dogs, for example, love to romp around with them. If they are not doing so well, the four-legged friends can also recognize that and gently give comfort when they cuddle or nudge your child. Unconditional affection is what true friendship is all about - an incredibly precious experience pets can give children.

Stay active

Children are very active and curious by nature. They prefer to run and jump around continuously and tirelessly. That can change, however, if school, homework and afternoon meetings take up a large part of your time. Especially with age, the school free timeoften rather filled with the PC or with the mobile phone. A Pet for children is always the ideal motivation busy with other things, romping around in the apartment and ideally being in nature. Even if your child may not want to openly admit it, they will feel better because they are balanced and felt that they are needed. Outside of the digital worlds and social networks. In addition, cat videos are known to go completely through the roof 😉.

Boost self-confidence with a pet for children

My pet loves me for who I am! This is a simple but wonderful truth that can give children a lot of courage and strength. It is good when you know that not only your family but also your best friend will stand by you on four paws and will always be by your side. Priceless.


Pet for children: the most important points summarized

The question "Pet for children - yes or no?" is not easy to answer. Each family should answer this question individually. Living with a pet can definitely be a great asset be for the whole family and have a positive effect on the child's development. What makes your decision easier:

  • As parents, you and your offspring deal specifically with different animal species and their needs, characteristics and demands
  • A conversation with a veterinarian, a visit to the animal shelter, books and documentation can help
  • As parents, you will always have primary responsibility for the animal
  • However, children can already take on their first tasks at an early age
  • the interaction between pet and family always depends on whether the animal is cared for and addressed appropriately
  • Pets for children give the whole family security and emotional support
  • Pets strengthen children's sense of responsibility
  • With pets, children learn social skills such as empathy and mindfulness
  • Pets motivate the whole family to play (at home or even in nature)
  • Animals contribute to balance and well-being

Learning through play is also possible with scoyo:

about the author

Dr. Lehmann is on the road nationwide for the project "Love for Life - Animal Welfare Lessons for School Children" | © PURINA

Dr. Katja Lehmann is a veterinarian and has been working in behavior therapy for over 15 years. The issue of respect for and protection of animals is very important to her, as is the support and development of children. For more than five years, Dr. Lehmann works nationwide as an animal welfare teacher for the project "Love for Life - Animal Welfare Lessons for School Children". As part of the initiative of the pet food manufacturer PURINA and the Federal Association of Practicing Veterinarians e.V. (bpt), she conducts free lessons at primary schools. The aim is to make the offspring sensitive to the respect and protection of dogs, cats & Co. as well as their natural needs and to educate them about animal welfare. The basis for the lessons are target group-specific materials that have been developed in cooperation with veterinarians and educators. Dr. Katja Lehmann and her colleagues can be booked free of charge. More information at

* This article was created in cooperation with the initiative "Love for Life - Animal Welfare Lessons for School Children".