Getting Kids to Start Caring for Puppies

Children are naturally drawn to puppies and oftentimes crave their companionship. It's completely acceptable and recommended to allow children to opportunity and the experience of caring for puppies. It is suggested that it can help teach children to be more humane and responsible at the same time.

Here are some ways to get children involved in the care of a puppy.


Grooming and bathing should be a regular part of any dog care routine and proves to be a fun task to involve children with. Keep in mind that you should always use the proper shampoo for the dog, have a non-slip mat inside the tub to prevent injuries to the dog and a removable shower head makes the job easier. Many large pet retailers offer grooming areas for use by individuals with large tubs with ramps, allowing easier bathing. Where ever you decide bath the puppy make sure the child has a specific role in the process.

Feeding and Watering

Puppies need to be fed twice daily and provided water often. Allowing a child to be responsible for even one of the feedings makes them feel needed and important to the dog. Instruct the child to allow the dog to eat once the food is in the bowl. Some dogs are food-aggressive and a child in their face while eating is unwelcome and can pose a threat to the child. Make it clear to the child when they are expected to provide the food or water for the dog and set-up consequences if they do not follow through with their pet-care responsibility.


Invite your child to participate in the training of the puppy whether it's in a formal training class or your own backyard. Kids feel empowered when they can command the actions of a dog and it strengthens the bond between the two. Mastering simple hand commands for sit, stay or shake are easily established and can impress a child's friend or family guest.

Be mindful that all these activities should always be supervised by an adult. Keeping these tasks fun for the child and the dog will ensure a lasting bond between the two and a healthy puppy that will grow into a healthy dog.