Caring for Animals

What to do:

  • Have an animal that can be handled by children come to visit.
  • Talk with the children about the animal, explaining what it is.
  • Show the children how the animal likes to be held and touched.
  • Let each child have a turn holding or petting the animal.
  • Use positive guidance techniques, such as, “You need to be gentle with the cat. The cat likes to be held like this. Squeezing hurts the cat.”
  • Talk about how the animal might feel (although younger children do not always understand how an animal or another person might feel).
  • Put the animal in a box or cage when it needs to rest and explain to the children that they will get to hold it later.
  • Assignments, such as providing water and food or helping to clean up after the animals, may be given to older children. A veterinarian or other trained individual may be invited to come talk to the children about animal care.