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Color your way to better pet care
Use these coloring sheets to educate your littlest pet ownersand their parentsabout the tasks and responsibilities children can assume with supervision.
GETTYIMAGES/Natalia VremyachkinaChildren are an important link in the chain of pet care. Copy the forms at dvm360.com/color and use these tips to educate pet owners, big and small:
Step 1: Color your way to a smile
When little pet owners enter your practice, offer up the coloring sheets and a box of washable crayons or colored pencils. Invite children to draw a picture of their own pet and, using child-safe scissors, cut it out with an adult's supervision.
Step 2: Interact with the paper pet
Using the dishes, bowl and leash they colored, kids can interact with the pet. One of your team members can show the children the daily care a pet needs and the activities they can help with, depending on their ages. Consider these sample chores-and discuss with your team the activities you recommend for children, depending on their ages. Just remind parents that these activities should happen under an adult's supervision for the child's and pet's safety.
Ages 4 to 6
> Pet your pet every day.
> Brush your pet with help from an adult.
> Offer up a treat by placing it on the ground for your pet to pick up.
Ages 7 to 9
> If you have a dog, practice walking him or her with a parent's help.
> Play ball with your dog or “fish” for your cat with a fishing pole toy.
> Practice tricks such as “shake hands” with your dog.
Ages 10 and older
> Feed the pet using a measuring cup and with a parent's supervision.
At age 10 or older, most children can offer most of the care a pet needs but they still need a parent's supervision to make sure they don't forget tasks, overfeed or underfeed, for example.