Twin Cities Mom Collective

6 Ways to Raise your Child to be an Animal Lover | Animal Humane Society

This post is in partnership with the Animal Humane Society.

animal humane society

Raising your child to be an animal lover is about more than teaching compassion towards our furry friends. Kids who learn to be caring towards animals also learn important skills they can carry with them into adulthood, like empathy, self-confidence, and leadership. 

As an animal-loving parent, how can you help foster this same love for animals in your children? Here are a few ways to show your kids just how wonderful animals are. 

Teach your child how to interact with animals

Teaching your children appropriate ways to interact with animals is a great first step toward them learning empathy and compassion. 

If you currently have pets or you plan to adopt them in the future, start by helping your child understand your pet’s body language. This not only helps to keep both your child and pet safe, but it also helps them build a strong, positive relationship with each other.  

Even if you don’t currently have a pet, it’s important to emphasize to your child the appropriate ways to handle animals, like when to (and when not to) pet them and how to be gentle when handling them. 

Involve your child in your pet’s daily care

If you currently have a pet, involving your child in their daily routine is a great way to show them the responsibility, care, and compassion that goes into having a pet. 

Daily activities like brushing and walking your pet can help strengthen your child’s bond with them. Involving your child in training is another great way to build that bond as well. 

Sign your child up for fun, animal-related education programs

The best way to foster a love for animals in your child is to give them an opportunity to learn about and interact with animals first-hand.

Animal Humane Society offers a variety of camps and educational programs for children to explore their interests, interact with animals, and nurture their compassion for all living things. 

From animal-filled summer and day camps to chances to explore animal-related careers, education programs at Animal Humane Society help foster a passion and love for all animals. Programs are available Golden Valley, Coon Rapid, and Woodbury for children grades 3-10.

Immerse your child in animal-related books, movies, and TV shows

Whether you read a fun, animal-related book at bedtime or you plan an animal-related family movie night, these stories can help your child build connections and learn empathy for real-life animals.

For added fun, look for local animal organizations that offer reading programs where your child can provide soothing company to dogs, cats, and critters awaiting adoption by reading to them, like the Rescue Readers programs at Animal Humane Society. 

Get outside as often as possible

Getting outside and seeing all of the wonders that the world has to offer is a great way to get your child interested in wildlife.

Whether you’re taking a family hike or tossing a ball around in the backyard, spending time outdoors creates spontaneous learning opportunities that you can’t get any other way.

You can learn about animals in their natural habitats, and see ecosystems in action! 

Set an example by volunteering your time with animals

Children learn best by watching their parents, and that includes showing compassion toward animals. 

By volunteering with a local animal organization, you can share first-hand experiences about the wonders of animals with your child, all while helping these organizations provide more care and resources to animals in need.

Raising a future animal lover benefits everyone.

By instilling a love of animals in your child from a young age, you can help them grow to be kind, compassionate adults that change the world. Use these tips to start spreading your passion for living things today. 

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