It happened. About 3 months ago we got a puppy.  Looking back on the whole thing it was a highly orchestrated event by my younger two brilliantly manipulating children.  I am inspired to tell this story based on the I and Love and You pet care company {Kids Activities Blog sponsor} who embraces the fact that love between a pet and a person is a two-way street. Pet Chores for Kids - Kids Activities Blog Early summer they both were on a campaign for a panda.  The real panda.  The one that is  impossible to actually have as a pet.  Despite my objective responses, they pleaded. This went on all summer.  I was telling them 10x a day how getting a panda was completely out of the question.  It wasn’t that I was being mean…you just can’t OWN a panda!  This ridiculous conversation dominated everything else that was going on during that time. Yet they persisted. We can’t get a panda! One early fall day we were all sitting in the car and out of the blue my 11 year old said, “Mom, do you want to live longer?Of course! Then you might want to know that owners of dogs live longer. And then the puppy promotion  started.  After being involved in the panda debate for months, the puppy argument seemed reasonable. Which is how we ended up with a dog named Panda. But it was after a lot of kid promises to take on the responsibility of the dog.  And I can honestly say that they have held up their end of the bargain.  It has been quite impressive to see boys who barely can put clothes in a hamper take over all the care for the dog. I and Love and You Pet Food with Panda - Kids Activities Blog

Pet Chores for Kids

We have talked a lot about chores for kids on Kids Activities Blog and this is what  my  kids have been in charge of from day one (and how they became independent):
  1. Taking the dog outside – This is the main chore.  She is a puppy afterall who has shown herself to be a little dense in the housebreaking department.  In the early days, I set a timer so the kids would remember to take her out.  Now they are watching for Panda’s potty clues.  Panda gets a little treat for awesome outdoor pottying behavior which is usually a small piece of Nice Jerky: Venison.
  2. Feeding  the dog – They feed the dog twice a day and then take her outside immediately afterward (we learned that the hard way more than once).  They choose either two scoops of the I and Love and You dry food or half of an I and Love and You can.  Panda’s favorite is the Gobble it Up  canned food.
  3. Washing the dog – This was one thing that I started doing myself, but it has been something that over time the boys have taken over.  Panda has gotten more used to getting a bath and the boys started assisting and now can do it all by themselves.  It has made it easier because it is often the outside play that triggers a bath!
  4. Taking the dog for a walk – Going for a walk doesn’t have to mean going on a journey!  Especially when we are talking kids and a puppy.  There are not sidewalks in our neighborhood and the street speed is insane, so I am not about to send them off-property, but they can walk all over our yard and driveway with Panda on a leash.  Good exercise for everyone and good practice for the pup.
  5. Night duty – I started with this one because I was concerned about the kids not getting enough sleep, but as Panda has grown and gotten better at night, they have taken it over.  They now have Panda in their room and all are sleeping peacefully!  It is really quite adorable.
  6. Vet assistant – Each time I have taken Panda to the vet, it has been a family affair.  I want the boys to see what goes on there and why.  They have started looking forward to these visits because they are attached to the big fuzzy cats that lay on the cash registers.
  7. Poop scooper – Puppies poop.  That is just reality.  This is one area where I need to work a little harder on the follow-through in my yard. The masterplan is to have this under control by nicer weather.
The main thing for our family was to have the boys involved in every aspect of the puppy from the very first day.  Because they promised, I wanted them to have ownership in the pet process.  It has gone much smoother than I expected. We all love that silly dog. Thanks so much to I am Love and You for sponsoring this post.  You can find where to buy their quality pet products and then purchase  a nutritious and natural solution for your dog or cat.

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