Nearly every parent has heard those words: “Can we get a dog”? For some parents, it is an easy question to answer and a welcome one. But for those parents not keen on owning a dog or pet at all, what can they do? Well, as great parents, you want to give your child the tools to make sound decisions as they mature. This is a perfect opportunity to do just that. You can strike a deal with your kids which will solve your dilemma and help them learn. But keep in mind, if your child sticks to their end of the agreement, you need to stick to yours as well! In doing so, you may end up with a dog. If you are not comfortable with that possible outcome, then it would be best to purchase a dog toy for your kids and explain to them the reasons for not getting a dog.
Owning a dog can bring important life lessons to the forefront for your children. We recommend starting with a simulation of dog ownership. Start with a list of tasks for your child to perform. Give them the list and have them work through one or a couple tasks each day for one month. Then monitor their progress and see if they stick to the list for a month. The following list is a great starting point to work with.
- Feed your dog after school
- Feed your dog at dinner
- Comb their hair once a week
- Play time once a day
- Take them outside to go potty after school and before/after dinner
Simulation of Dog Ownership
You are probably wondering how these tasks can be achieved without a living dog. Well, your best bet would be to purchase a stuffed animal to use as a prop. Browse our stuffed animals below.
- When feeding the dog after school and at dinner, simply instruct your child to place the stuffed animal on the floor near the table and place some packaged food and a bowl next to the stuffed animal. When finished eating, your child must take the food, put it away, and rinse the dish.
- Instruct your child to take a comb and comb the stuffed animals coat every Friday night, for example.
- After school, maybe before homework, instruct your child to play with their stuffed animal for at least 30 minutes.
- Instruct your child to bring the stuffed animal outside to use the bathroom and wait for 10 minutes. If you don’t have an outdoor area don’t worry. Your child can practice this potty training activity in a designated indoor potty area instead.
Owning a Dog Simulation for Kids
It is important to note that this simulation does not consider a dog is a living and breathing being. It is crucial to teach your child empathy and understanding. If your dog is not feeling well, you need to leave him/her alone. A dog is not a toy to be teased or disrespected. Dogs are alive, they need to be treated with respect and care, the same way all people wish to be treated.
Make sure your child sticks to these simple activities every day. Kids getting a dog is truly special. Watching them care and grow with your dog is magical. If they are happy and willing to do these “light chores” as required for an entire month, maybe you should cave and get them a pup.
John is the co-owner of DogLoverStore with his wife Kimberly. He enjoys working with computers, listening to music, learning about dog breeds, perfecting the art of coffee brewing, and anything that brings him back to childhood! He received his BS in management information systems at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.