Children often beg for pets, but they sometimes start to ignore them over time. While your child doesn’t mean to do any harm, they may find that other activities take up more of their time. If you see that your child is losing interest in their pet, then you can use these strategies to help them improve their relationship.
Learn About Their Preferred Type of Pet
Doing a little research taps into your child’s interest in facts and science. Whether your child loves a specific dog breed or is more into reptiles, you can start a research project together to find as much information as you can about what makes them happy. Knowing that their dog likes to be pet a certain way or that their fish prefers a certain temperature of water empowers your child to take a more active role in their pet’s life.
Help Them Move on Before Getting a New Pet
Parents sometimes quickly rush to replace a pet that a child has lost. While you want to give your child a new animal to love, you also want to take the time to help them learn how to deal with the loss of a pet. Host a memorial, pick out an urn, or create a unique piece of jewelry that allows your child to feel a sense of acceptance before you show up with a surprise new pet. Your child will be more likely to bond with their pet when they are not immersed in grief.
Involve Them in Pet Care Tasks
Your child should also be in charge of their pet’s care to the best of their abilities. Find age appropriate pet care tasks to assign to your child. Even a toddler can help do things such as put a scoop of food into a bowl with your assistance. They’ll feel a sense of responsibility that heightens their relationship with their pet.
Make Their Pet a Part of the Family
You can also help bonding along by just acting like the pet is part of your family. Bring up your child’s pet in conversations, and ask how their pet is doing. You might even share a special family ritual such as celebrating the day that you brought the pet home as their birthday.
Pets give children a sense of responsibility that carries over into other parts of their lives. While your child may need some time to get used to a new pet, you should see their relationship flourish over time. Helping your child get to know their pet and participate in their care improves their ability to form a unique relationship that is beneficial for both them and their animal companion.