Dogs and Responsibility


This post was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Nicole Cowart

Can Dogs Teach Kids Responsibility?

Dogs are known to be man’s best friend. Most people usually get dogs for security purposes or just to have a pet around the house. Pets, especially dogs can do more than just keep you company or serve as security for you. They can teach practical lessons to both adults and children that will be useful for a lifetime. Although parents have the main responsibility to train their children to be responsible with , they can also do so in other ways such as getting them a pet. Here are some ways that pets teach responsibility.

It Teaches Them Personal Care

Once you get a dog for your children, teach them how to clean after the dog and take care of its hygiene. Show them a couple of times how it is done and then let them start doing it on their own. Giving them the responsibility to look after the dog will also make them aware of their own hygiene. They will also learn how to take care of others, especially younger siblings.

It Teaches Them to Feed Others

Teach your child which foods are suitable for the dog by going to the pet shop and showing them how to choose the products. You can also show them how to prepare the food and hand over the responsibility to them. It may not be easy to teach them by example especially if you are in college.

As they get used to preparing food for the dog, they will also be motivated to learn how to care for themselves and others by preparing meals. They will grow up knowing how to care for themselves without needing anyone to prepare their meals for them.


It Teaches Them To Be Self Sacrificing

When your child starts taking care of a pet, they get to know they have to sacrifice some things for the welfare of the pet. It may be sacrificing time for playing or watching television in order to clean the dog or wake up earlier than usual in order to prepare food for the dog.

Overall, this teaches a child responsibility and how to prioritize things in life. This will be reflected in all areas in life including their school life, personal life and other areas of life.

It Teaches them to Be Considerate of Others

Pets also require attention and you will have to teach your child how to do so. They need to be taught not only verbally but also through positive example. Your child needs to know how to spend time with the dog by playing, taking for a walk or simply just giving attention wherever they are.

This will teach the child how to be socially active and spend time with others. They will learn to give time and attention to people and be considerate of their needs too.


It Teaches Them Medical Aid

Medical care for dogs should primarily be given by the vet. However, there are minor treatments that can be given to dogs at home. This includes taking care of the dogs when they are ill or have minor injuries with They could learn to bandage, administer oral medications and other things. This will also teach them to be considerate of people when they are ill.



Having a dog not only gives companionship or other services but also plays a huge role in helping children develop qualities that will be of great help both to themselves and to society. They will grow to be responsible adults in society and your load of training children will be much easier.

By teaching through example, they are likely to learn much faster and retain the information you teach them. Although this article has talked about dogs, owning any pet will still accomplish the purpose of teaching them how to be responsible. The next time your child asks if he or she could have a pet, do not refuse, think about the short-term and long-term benefits for you and the child.

Nicole Cowart is a pet owner and a professional writer at who loves helping parents raise responsible children. She has also seen the positive effects pets have on children which is why she shares the knowledge and experience she has through such articles.