Mon–Fri: 8 AM – 6 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 3 PM
Sunday: CLOSED

(541) 345-1544
2835 Willamette St,
Eugene, Oregon 97405

Age-Appropriate Pet Responsibilities for Kids

It’s never too early to start teaching kids about being a responsible pet owner. Whether you’ve just gotten a new pet, or have a family pet that your child hasn’t yet cared for, you can start giving your child age-appropriate pet responsibilities now.  

Children Age 6 & Under

  • Walks – Children under the age of six can’t be responsible for holding a dog’s leash on a walk, but they can go along with you on the walk. You can use the time to teach them about the importance of daily exercise.
  • Meals – You can let your child pour pet food into the bowl, or place the bowl down for your pet under direct supervision. Don’t rely on a child this young to remember when mealtimes are, however–you’ll have to remind them!
  • Grooming – Your child can help you gently brush your pet. This will help foster a positive relationship between them, and will teach your child about the importance of being gentle with your pet.

Children Age 7-12

  • Meals – At this age range, your child is old enough to take responsibility for your pet’s mealtimes. They may need some prompting to ensure they remember each meal, but they should be able to complete the task with minimal supervision.
  • Cleaning up after the pet – Your child can also help clean out the litter box or pick up dog waste from the yard or while on a walk. Explain to your child the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation when owning a pet. 
  • Bathing & grooming – Your child should also be able to help with bathing and grooming with some assistance. Give your child tasks that you know they can manage with little interference, like brushing your pet, putting soap on the dog in the bathtub, or drying the dog off after a bath. 
  • Training – Encourage your older child to be involved with training your pet. This will encourage responsible pet ownership and give your child confidence in their relationship with your pet.  

Schedule a visit with your veterinarian after getting a new pet, and bring your child along to the visit so they can start learning about what it means to care for a pet.