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Creating an Age-Appropriate Pet Chore List for Your Child

Once your child is five years old or older, you can give them age-appropriate pet chores and tasks to help out with. Teaching your child how to care for a pet will instill a sense of responsibility and empathy in them from a young age. Here are some age-appropriate pet chores your child can assist with. 

Age 3 & Under

Your child will be learning about appropriate pet interactions from you at this age. It’s the perfect time to teach them how to safely interact with pets, and explain what pet-related chores you’re doing as your child observes.  

Age 4-5

At this age, your child can assist you with a few pet chores. Have your child help you groom your pet, and have them watch you while you feed and water the pet. Your child can also play with your pet while supervised. Explain to them what the most important elements of pet ownership are, and how you and other family members take care of them every day. 

Age 6-8

When your child is this age, they can complete a few chores on their own with supervision. Have them play with your pet, brush or groom your pet, and put food in your pet’s bowl under your careful watch.

Age 8-11

By the time your child is 8-11 years old, they can take on some chores without supervision. They can be put in charge of feeding, watering, and cleaning up after your pet. Make sure to check in with them every day to confirm that they have done these chores. 

Age 12+

When your child is 12 or older, they can handle most pet chores without supervision, and should be able to manage them without you checking in. Have your child be in charge of feeding, watering, grooming, cleaning up after, and walking your pet as well as play time. 

Take your new pet to the veterinarian before bringing him home. Have your child come with you for the visit so they can start learning about pet ownership right away.