If you are anything like me you know only too well how the simple act of turning on the television or logging onto social media comes with heartbreaking and devastating news and often graphic images of unwanted, abused and neglected pets.
What can we do now to change the future for animals? As the saying goes ‘Our future is in the hands of the next generation’.
So what does that mean anyway? Scientific research has shown empathy is a learned behaviour. If we can teach the young now about nurturing kindness and respect for animals, people and the environment through feelings of empathy we have the power to change the attitudes and behaviour of the young into adulthood.
Below are some suggestions on how to engage your child in Animal Welfare:
Talk the Talk: Educating yourself about current issues is extremely important. How can you engage your child if you have no idea what is going on in the world? How do you know what to tell them, let alone answer their questions? Then you need to walk the walk….set a good example by implementing positive animal welfare choices in your everyday life for your child to be guided by.
Below are some links to help get you started:
Why de-sex Your Pet?
What Is A Puppy Mill?
Adopt Don’t Shop!
What Is Wrong With Breed Specific Legislation?
Why You Should Not Give Your Pet Away For Free!
Not Tested On Animals!
Why Choose Cage Free Eggs?
Ethical Meat Suppliers!
Pet Care: If you are lucky enough to share your life with a family pet; whether it’s a playful pooch, smoochy puss, feathered friend or tiny pocket pet you can start straight away! The age of your child will depend on what pet care responsibilities they are capable of. For the very young just involving them in daily activities such as feeding, filling water bowls, grooming, walks and play time is a positive start. For the tweens or teens you could look at more responsible activities such as accompany you to veterinary checkups, the importance of clean pens, trays and bedding, enrolling them in dog training lessons, maybe even showing them how to clean the pet’s teeth or administer worming tablets!
Animal Welfare Programs: Welfare groups and animal shelters such as the RSPCA often run animal welfare programs specifically directed to children. They have activities such as ‘School and Community Visits’, ‘Shelter Tours’ and ‘School Holiday Programs’ and may even have online educational activities such as WOAW.
Kids and Philanthropy: With an ever growing world of selfies and social media it is never been more important to help your child learn what non-profit organisations are; and why and what they do. Discuss the important to support causes such as Animal Welfare Shelters through both fund raising efforts and offering their own time. Not only does it give them a sense of pride in what they have achieved, it also teaches them responsibility and that giving their own time to someone else can make a difference!
Decades of evidence show that a child’s attitude toward animals can predict future behaviour. What we teach the young now can develop their role as future ambassadors for all living creatures and the environment we live. What sort of future would you like them to create?
Author Bio: Nikki is pack leader at Pressplay Pets, a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting. She is also proud mum to cute and cheeky Papillons ‘Amber’ and ‘Indy’ and one crazy Rainbow Lorikeet named ‘Ralph’! Follow my Facebook and Twitter.
Pressplay Pets a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting!Follow Us!