We’re going to take a wild guess at how you’ve arrived here today—you got married and wanted to adopt a dog or cat with your spouse, so you did and life was wonderful! Now, you have your own baby to manage as well, and you’re finding it hard to balance loving and caring for your child and pet.
Or, your kids longed for a puppy and you went ahead and got one, but now you’re responsible for looking after both your kids and your pet and it’s getting a little crazy at home.
However you got here, we can assure you that you aren’t the only parents struggling with this problem. Having a pet when you have children at home can mean extra work, but it’s going to be worth it (and so rewarding) once you’ve figured out a system that works for you.
In this article, we’re going to give you 3 tips which will help you build a system that will not only reduce the strain you feel, but will also ensure that you don’t have to sacrifice your mental peace or free time to manage a home filled with kids and pets (if you have more than one). Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Feed your pets well, and feed them first
You may think it’s easier to feed your family and pets at the same time, but it’s going to be nothing short of chaotic, especially if you have very small children who need to be fed themselves.
Instead, it makes more sense to finish feeding your pets first, and then have your meals in peace while they nap or hang around the dinner table. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty when they give you their puppy eyes as you eat your dessert because you know they’re fed and full.
My older three girls take turns feeding our cat. Usually while I’m making supper, he sits looking up at me—or even begins meowing at us. Then I’ll call one of the girls to give him his food. In the morning, we feed him breakfast before eating our own breakfast. This way, he’s busy with his food while we’re eating ours.
Another important factor is to ensure they’re getting the right nutrition. Try not to make do with whatever’s available, but give them a balanced diet that includes wet food, dry food, dog treats and snacks, and most importantly, canine probiotics, which are essential for a healthy gut and body.
2. Exercise them together
In some ways, kids and dogs are quite similar. For example, they both need good exercise, without which, they may start acting up or become hyperactive. A good way to give both of them their daily exercise is to have them playing outside together, or if your kids are old enough to take the dog for a walk.
Make sure they visit the park or beach (whichever is closer to where you live) to get some quality exercise every morning or evening. You’ll soon notice how fresh air and time spent outdoors benefits them both.
3. Don’t let kids interfere with their discipline and training
The hardest part of having a dog is when they’re untrained and uncontrollable. However, when they’ve been disciplined and trained the right way, having them around is nothing short of peaceful and fun!
Very often, kids can become a reason why dogs don’t get trained well. They may interfere when your dog is being corrected, or spoil your dog by doing exactly what you told them not to do, such as feeding him under the dinner table. I’ve had to talk to my kids about not allowing our cat on the counters or encouraging him to bite or claw them. Everyone needs to be enforcing the rules for the pet and not encouraging bad behavior.
Though such incidents seem harmless at first, in the long run, it could result in a disobedient dog or ill-behaved cat, which could end in a chaotic household. To avoid this, make sure your dog obeys you and receives the training it needs without being spoiled by your kids.
Once your pets have been properly trained, you wouldn’t have to worry about leaving your kids alone with them, because you know they’ll behave.
What tips would you share for taking care of pets with children around too?
Image source: Unsplash.
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