Be Kind To Animals Week is in 1-7 October and it’s all about the wonderful relationship we humans have with animals. This year it’s all about how we can take better care of our pets and help people take better care of animals all around the world. Pet quality of life is important – it means how much your pet enjoys their life and is able to be healthy, safe, comfortable, and happy.
Here are CANSTAR’s top 5 tips for kids to give your pets happiness and health. These tips are the same for animals everywhere – they all deserve a safe, happy life. You can also find our favourite ways for getting your school involved in Be Kind To Animals Week below.
Top 5 tips for kids with pets
1. Handle your pets carefully
All pets need to be held carefully and comfortably, and young pets need even more special care. Kittens, puppies, ducklings, and even baby turtles all need a soft touch – so be gentle when you pat and stroke them. You should also hold them carefully in both hands so you don’t drop them. After all, it would hurt if someone dropped you – ouch!
You can teach each other about respect for animals by reminding younger siblings to be careful around kittens, puppies, baby birds, and other animals.
2. Take some extra time for grooming and routine care
No cat likes having a bath, and not many dogs like having their nails cut – but it’s good for them. A haircut and a good toothbrushing can help with your pet’s happiness and healthiness. If it’s not safe for you and your parents to take care of things like that, you might need to get a professional to do it.
If your parents have comprehensive pet insurance cover, you might even be able to get back the money you paid for this professional grooming!
3. Walk a dog for your neighbour when you walk your own dog
Lots of people in your neighbourhood might be getting too old to walk their own dog safely, but their pets still need exercise… Maybe you could ask your neighbour if they would like for you to walk their dog when you take your own dog out for a walk. Make sure the two dogs get along first, though!
4. Volunteer at a shelter
When you volunteer at a wildlife shelter, you get to see, pat, and feed lots of beautiful animals. You learn about how to take care of different types of animals. Lots of wildlife shelters are looking for more help, and you could even sign up with your class to help out together one weekend.
5. Go vegetarian for a day a week
Eating less meat – even if it’s just for a few days each week – can make a huge difference to how animals around the world get treated. In this TED talk, Graham Hill, the man who started TreeHugger.com, explains some of the ways it hurts animals and our planet when we eat meat. But it can be hard to go completely vegetarian, so Graham is a “weekday vegetarian” and only eats meat on the weekends when he’s out with his friends.
Graham says, “Cutting out five days a week is cutting 70% of your meat intake. If all of us ate just half as much meat, it would be like half of us were vegetarians.”
If your household is interested in trying a few vegetarian meals, just make sure you still eat enough protein and iron! Things like chickpeas and spinach are great for that.
Get your school involved
You can get involved in Be Kind To Animals Week by participating in any of the featured events on their website, or by registering your school with ThinkKind. Could your school be the kindest in Australia? Enter the competition to find out. Simply register and upload photos of yourself and your classmates being kind to animals – in whatever way you do that at your school.
Your class could even plan an excursion to Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary if you live in Victoria, who brought Be Kind To Animals Week from America to Australia. The best part is that you get to meet all of the animals rescued by this not-for-profit haven. A visit through the Joining the Dots program helps you learn a lifetime’s worth of animal behaviour, ethics, biology, new language, and even media studies.
It’s World Animal Day on October 4, so you could even get your class to celebrate by making drawings or sculptures and learning together about some of Australia’s native animals. We are so lucky here, as we have some of the rarest and most beautiful animals in the world living right here in our backyard.
“This is a wonderful way for schools to get involved and allow the next generation of animal lovers to become empowered. Every person, no matter what age or background, has the power to really make a difference in the life and treatment of animals in Australia, and the world.”
– Pet Insurance Australia spokesperson Nadia Crighton
Did you know?
ThinkKind says studies show that children who are kind to animals are more likely to be kind to their classmates. So don’t just be kind to the animals you meet – everyone needs a little kindness now and then!