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Top Strategies for Teaching Kids about Pet Care During Travel

At A Glance

A family trip with pets is an excellent chance to teach your kids about responsibility and what it means to be a compassionate human being. Some of the strategies for teaching kids about pet care during travel are:

  • Creating a list of responsibilities
  • Offering rewards
  • Praising children for their efforts

Along the way, you’ll be boosting their self-esteem and confidence while making your responsibilities a little lighter.

Last Updated on: Nov 17, 2023

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Going on a road trip with the family? As a parent, you probably have your hands full while traveling. You need to plan the trip and make sure that everyone is ready and packed while following a certain schedule. After all, you wouldn’t want to arrive too late in the evening or miss your flight!

Consider using the experience as an opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility. An excellent way to do this would be to allow them to take care of your pets while you’re traveling. You can keep an eye on your children as you travel while showing them how to care for your animals. As long as you own a child-friendly dog breed, it should be a safe and positive experience for your little ones.

Don’t worry. We’ll make it easy on you. Here are 3 strategies for teaching kids about pet care during travel

Create a List of Pet Care Duties

Think of activities you want your child to do for your dog and write it down. This will remind your child of their responsibilities while making it easier for you to check how they’re doing. Possible list items are feeding your dog during rest stops, making sure that your pet has an opportunity to regularly relieve itself, and even packing for your pet.

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While making this list, it’s a good idea to tailor it to your child’s abilities and experience. If your kid has never taken care of the dog before, start with simpler tasks and go from there. You can also supervise your child more closely to ensure that all major aspects are being adequately handled.

A few days before you leave, review the list with your child and ensure that they’re familiar with all the responsibilities that you enumerated. Check if they understand what they need to do. Ask them questions and encourage them to do the same.

Offer Rewards

dog with kids in the car

Let’s face it: motivation promotes action. There are times when the best strategies for teaching kids about pet care during travel is to give them a reward for their behavior. If you’re uncomfortable with giving them an additional allowance for the trip, you can always stop for ice cream or promise to bring them to a kid-friendly attraction like an amusement park.

“Done right, reward systems work by enticing your child to adapt their behavior until the new behavior becomes normal. Over time, they’ll begin to experience the natural benefits of that behavior-and wean themselves off the rewards.” (Excerpt from EdNavigator)

Praise Your Kids

Possibly one of the best forms of validation that your children can receive from you is your approval. If you see that they’re doing their best to take care of your four-legged family member, praise them for their efforts and give them positive reinforcement.

Remark on how thoughtful they have been and point out how much happier your pet is because of their tender loving care. By reinforcing responsible behavior, you’ll teach them that there are intrinsic rewards from taking care of others. In addition, it can boost their confidence and self-esteem.

“Praise nurtures your child’s confidence and sense of self. By using praise, you’re showing your child how to think and talk positively about themselves. You’re helping your child learn how to recognize when they do well and feel proud of themselves.” (Excerpt from the Raising Children Network)

If you’re on a family trip with pets, consider it a learning opportunity for your kids. You can offload some of your responsibilities while showing them how to care for animals.

Create a list, reward your kids for good behavior, and praise them. During the process, you’ll be teaching them so much more than making sure your dog is fed and can go to the bathroom when necessary. You’ll be showing your child how to be a compassionate human being by being a reliable and thoughtful caregiver. It’s a simple exercise but it can do a world of good for your children.


General strategies for teaching kids about pet care during travel

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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.