Having a pet or pets can help to develop a child’s empathy. We can use the emotions of the dog or cat to help children learn about the feelings of other living beings. For example, when you have a new puppy, he can’t go everywhere with you initially and starts to whimper when you go to school. The child picks up on this distress, and you say, ‘The puppy is crying because you are leaving; how do you think he feels?’
The child usually responds, ‘He feels very sad because I am going to school.’
In reality, most of the quality time with your pet will be on weekends and school holidays, and it is essential that the whole family, including the dog, have fun together. As a parent, you can improve this time with carefully planned activities.
Sport is a good way for the child and dog to interact, and if your child is playing Soccer or Football, there will be a uniform.
This is your opportunity to match human and dog clothes; the dog can even be the team mascot and attend every match decked out in your team’s sporting colors.
Dogs now go surfing on a board with their owners, hoping to catch the perfect wave. Some dogs love it, others don’t, but you will soon work that out. A small wire-haired dog, wearing a Junior Life Saver ‘Rashie’ to provide sun protection, while a larger dog will not burn so easily due to more hair.
Other dogs had been surfing for a few years. Making matching clothes for the dog to surf in is a fun way for your child to stay connected to their pet. The idea of the dog and boy surfing together is a great way to spend quality time.
The children’s hospital, where kids often spend long recovery times, has two or more therapy dogs. This is important because most children have a pet at home and have to spend weeks without their beloved dog. When the therapy dogs visit the hospital, they must wear an outfit to distinguish them from other dogs. It is a bit like a uniform with the Hospital colors, and when the dogs, often Labradors, arrive, the children are so excited.
The children wear similar colors to the dogs, but some can’t leave their beds, and the dog spends time beside them during the day. But they have to go at night (under the health act), yet they come every day, boosting morale and cheering everyone up, and when your child is in the hospital, the dogs are a connection to the normality of everyday life.
Mid-year exams are coming, and what better study companion to see you through to exam time than your dog! The arts and design students have posted amazing selfies of themselves and their dogs, supposedly studying at home on their couch.
Your dog can be well-dressed, and this year there has been a disproportionate need for rainwear due to constant rain. The dogs look adorable in their Burberry Raincoats, just like the owners and having a pet takes your mind off the anxiety of exam time.
Some people are unable to have a pet for various reasons. However, they can still spend quality time with animals by attending a petting zoo.
Children should be introduced to animals early in life, and if you don’t have your own pet, encourage a visit to a close relative who has a dog, so the child can spend quality time with an animal.
For those that live in apartments, it is still possible to have a dog, but be prepared to take your dog for walks twice a day, whatever the weather.
This is good for children to learn responsibility and to think of others. Often the death of a pet is a child’s first experience of death, and it is a time to talk about emotions and explain to your child that everyone dies.
Involve your children in dressing your dog up for Christmas. Start with the flashing Reindeer Antlers and then invent a festive matching costume for boy/girl and dog to wear. Take a photo of your family on Christmas day to track the annual trends.
Designs are underway for cutting-edge dog outfits that will outdo and out glitter all your previous attempts, even though it is still five months away!
Dog-friendly accommodation is now available for the whole family, and this is good news as you can take the dog on vacation. This is a time when the family can be together for a week or two, exploring the outdoors and lots of activities.
Many games are played over the summer period, and one of them is cricket. This is perfect for your dog, as he always returns the ball, even when you prefer that he doesn’t. So make sure your dog has matching clothes for cricket. Unfortunately, white is the mandatory color, but it will make him part of the team to have the correct outfit on! Playing cricket with a dog is a bonus as they are prepared to always bring the ball back as they play for both sides, no matter who is winning.
All children love having a dog, and looking after the dog teaches them a level of responsibility that can’t be learned in any other way. As children age, they become more competitive and constantly explore new ways to outsmart and outplay one another. So having different outfits for your dog fits the plan, and spending that early quality time with a pet makes them much more responsible adults.
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