At what age can my son be counted on to care for pets?

Looking after a pet is a big responsibility, and while young children may be able to help care for a family pet by feeding the cat or walking the dog, they are not developmentally ready to take on the sole responsibility of looking after a pet until they are older. Pets do offer the perfect opportunity for grade school aged children to understand what it means to take care of living being. But for now, stick with a family pet that a grown-up is responsible for and use the pet caring duties as opportunities to teach him responsibility and enrich his life. 

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

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