So your kid wants a dog. Or a cat or a guinea pig or a fish or some other creature that you will now be responsible for keeping alive. If you have acquiesced, how do you make sure you hold this child responsible for actually helping you with this new family member?
Having a pet can help teach tweens responsibility – if you hold them accountable.
Most tweens should be able to handle feeding pets, giving them fresh water, and some basic grooming.
If you feel your child is responsible and old enough to take the dog for a walk around the block, make sure the child is equipped with a good quality retractable dog leash and enough poop bags to make sure they are not leaving a mess for the neighborhood.
Kids of any age should be able to help engage the pet in playtime, and it helps to equip them with fun pet toys.
Getting a pet for your family can be a very positive addition. There are studies that say for adolescents with emotional or psychological issues, a dog or cat may provide a needed boost.
One study actually showed that tweens would rather hang out with their pet than their siblings!
And if your child is allergic to dander, like my son and I are, an American Hairless Terrier is one option for a great family friend!