Children love pets—and for good reason. They offer companionship, provide valuable life lessons and unconditional love. Christmas is an important time of year to remember that, with this love comes a huge responsibility. Here are some tips on pet care for kids.
Before you consider a pet as a Christmas surprise, remember that although children often feel a bond with animals, they are unable to take full responsibility for their care and well-being. As many paw-rents know, Mum and Dad will be the primary caregivers and foot the bills.
If you think you are ready for a new family member, there are plenty of considerations—a pet’s temperament, the costs of caring for a pet, your family’s living arrangements and how much free time you’ll have to spend with it are just some of the things to think about.
Once you have an idea of the right kind of animal for your family, consider adoption. You’ll be enriching your life and saving theirs. Thousands of dogs and puppies, cats and kittens—and many other animals—are waiting for their fur-ever family to come along.
Animal rescue organisations like Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge (SCARS) will help match you with the right pet. Once you spot that special friend, they will talk to you about their needs and background, ask more about how the pet will live, your other family members and pets and arrange for a meet and greet.
Another essential step in your journey to successful pet ownership is teaching your kids how to care for them. Teaching children responsible pet ownership and how to stay safe around animals from a young age is an invaluable life lesson. Research shows that most of a child’s learning is done before they start school.
Sunshine Coast Council supports the community to co-exist with pets safely and confidently. They have education programs that cater for preschool-aged children through to upper primary on pet care for kids. The program includes Santa-paws-approved books: the Sammy & Sunny book series. The two books are designed to teach the youngest members of our community how to be responsible for their pets.
Animal-loving children will enjoy these heart-warming stories of adventure, emotion and perseverance.
Pick up a copy for $14.95 each at Sunshine Coast Council’s customer contact centres in Caloundra, Nambour and Maroochydore or at Caloundra Regional Gallery.
Book proceeds are reinvested in the Council’s animal education and welfare programs.
Learn more at sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au and search ‘Sammy’s series’.
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