The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything the world has ever seen, and because of that, it has meant some serious steps to protect the health of the general public. With children out of school in many parts of the country, we need to create fun opportunities to connect with our child.
How about we take time to celebrate National Puppy Day!
One of my son’s first words was “woof, woof” and so celebrating this holiday with him will be extra special. Although we don’t have a dog right now, we’ll certainly be finding ways to support puppies.
Whether your household includes a furry friend or not, you can celebrate National Puppy Day with your children and use the opportunity for some great teaching moments. From learning how to care for and pamper your pet to teaching your little ones the importance of protecting animals, the day can be fun and educational.This holiday is the perfect opportunity to recognize the happiness and value that dogs bring to a family. Here’s a look at some of our ideas for how to celebrate National Puppy Day with your children.
Pamper your pet Celebrating National Puppy Day in a household with a dog is simple. Take time to talk about what you enjoy about your dog and spend some time pampering them. Pampering your pet might mean giving them an extra treat or a special treat to celebrate the holiday. Or, it could mean taking them to the park to play or heading to the pet store for a new toy. You know your dog best and what will be exciting for them. Bring out photos of the day you brought your dog home and talk about it with your child. Share the pictures of your puppy in her childcare center. Helping your son or daughter understand your dog’s story can help them love and appreciate your pet even more. Today can also be an opportune time to have your child start taking over some of the chores related to your pet. Teach them how to feed your dog and have them learn some responsibility by being in charge of the animal’s care.
Make a difference at your local animal shelter There are so many animals that need a home and are living at an animal shelter. You can’t take them all home, but you can help support an animal shelter. Supporting your animal shelter might be through monetary donations or volunteering. Most shelters need volunteers to help clean cages, walk dogs or manage some of the office work related to the shelter. Even just visiting the animal shelter and petting the dogs can bring them joy and comfort as they await their forever home. If you make a donation, get your child involved. Explain why you’re making the donation and if you can, make it in person with cash so that the experience is more tangible for your child. You could even allow your child to hand over the money. For online donations, let your child click the donate button and explain each step of the process so that they can get involved too.
Discuss the importance of caring for and protecting animals Your child might not realize that not everyone respects and loves animals. Dogs look to humans to care for them and provide loving homes. Explain to your child how to care for and protect animals to be a good citizen and steward of our world. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to have these discussions with your little ones but they are valuable conversations. In your discussion, tell your child the joy that animals bring as companions. Caring for animals is about more than just their wellbeing, but about the owner’s wellbeing as well.
Dogs teach children responsibility and empathy. Instead of calling it a chore to help care for your dog, call it a privilege. Not all children are lucky enough to have a pet. Caring for your pet gives them ownership of a task but can also help them appreciate the animal even more.
When your child shares in the responsibility of caring for an animal, they learn respect for life. A pet is a tangible way of showing your child the impact that delayed feedings or other care have on a pet. And when your child does a good job, your dog will reward them with some tail-wagging to let them know.
Talk about the important roles dogs fulfill Dogs are more than just great pets. These animals are smart and helpful in fulfilling a variety of roles in society.
National Puppy Day is a great opportunity to discuss the various roles that dogs fill and how helpful they are. Police dogs receive training to find missing persons or spot things that seem out of place. Because dogs are intelligent, they can help lead people out of harm’s way and find individuals after a disaster. Dogs have been known to sniff out a person buried in rubble to help them get to safety. Service animals are trained to care for people with disabilities. Most of the time, you should not pet these animals as it can distract them from the important work that they do. When you see a service dog out in public, point it out to your child and explain the animal's role. Helping your child recognize the difference between a pet and a service animal can help them act accordingly when they encounter these animals.