Guinea pigs are popular pets among children. Not only are they cute, there’s just something about having an animal of your very own that you don’t have to share with the rest of the family.
Unfortunately, children don’t always think about what it takes to take care of their critter. They may promise to take care of it, but they are probably going to need your help.
A professional veterinarian has you covered! Here are a few ideas that will help ensure our child continues to take care of their pet.
Make sure expectations are clear
The first thing you have to do is make sure your expectations are clear. If you expect your child to clean the cage, make sure you tell them. They key is to make sure your child can’t possibly say they didn’t know to do XYZ.
Then, make sure there are consequences for not adhering to your expectations. For example, three in fractures could mean that their cousin gets to keep the guinea pig instead.
Remind your child of their duties
Even the most well-meaning kids can forget about their chores, and the younger they are, the more likely they are to forget. Caring for a guinea pig is a big responsibility, and it’s your responsibility to remind your child of that fact.
Consider creating a chore schedule so that daily chores are clear. You can also use verbal reminders to make sure your child is giving his guinea pig food and water like he’s supposed to.
Be willing to step in and help
You may say the guinea pig is your child’s responsibility, but as the adult in the house, it’s ultimately your responsibility to make sure the animal is healthy and happy, even if your child gets distracted and forgets to clean the cage.
If you notice that the guinea pig is out of the water, it’s cruel to leave his water bottle empty until your child gets home from school. Cooperate with your child to take care of their pet. For example, they may always forget to refill the water bottle, so that can be your job, but they never forget to clean the cage on Sunday evening.
Use your veterinarian as a resource to learn more ways to encourage your child to take care of their pet.