Teach Kids About Pet Care & Safety Using Stuffed Animals

Teaching kids how to properly care for a pet is so important.  As many of you know, Icy and I are a Therapy Dog team.  We make several different kinds of visits throughout our community through Bideawee, in Long Island NY.  Bideawee is near and dear to my heart, not only because Icy and I do our Therapy Dog work through them but because I got my first dog, Ginny from them. Having Ginny in our lives meant so much to our family, I'll always be grateful to Bideawee for giving that to us!

Teaching kids about therapy dogs & pet care with the use of stuffed animals.  #petcare #dogs #pethealth
Icy listens intently during one of our Kids Reading Aloud To Dogs visits, helping kids improve their reading skills
One of the therapy visits we are sometimes asked to do is speak to children about what Therapy Dogs do, and also about how to properly care for pets.  I've done a couple of these visits with girl scouts and younger kids, talking with them about pet care and proper interaction with dogs.  We talk about thinks like:

🐢 Providing food, fresh clean water, and shelter
🐢 How to approach and interact with a dog safely - always ask before petting!
🐢 Dog's body language - a wagging tail doesn't always mean a dogs is happy!
🐢 The importance of walks, playtime, and exercise
🐢 Having proper identification on the dog at all times
🐢 How you know when a dog is sick, and the importance of Veterinary care
🐢 The difference between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog

As a member of the Bayer Animal Health Pet Influencer Team, I was given a box of adorable stuffed dogs.  The dogs were modeled after a puppy named Champ who appeared in Bayer Advantix flea/tick commercials several years ago.  You can see this and some of his other adorable Advantix commercials on YouTube by clicking this link .

How to use stuffed animals to teach children about pet care & pet safety.   #dogs #petcare #healthydogs #pethealth
Use stuffed animals to teach kids about pet health & safety, & the importance of Vet care
When Bayer asked if we'd like some stuffed Champ pups to donate or share to help children learn about pet care and safety, they included suggestions on how we might use the stuffed pups:

πŸ’ Teach kids about general pet care and Veterinary care
πŸ’ Teach kids about keeping pets active; demonstrate fun things to do with pets
πŸ’ Take along on Therapy visits to a hospital to provide comfort and bring smiles
πŸ’ Use to illustrate that you should never leave pets in a hot car

When I received the stuffed pups and Bayer's suggestions on how they could be used, I immediately thought of Bideawee.   I thought the box of Champ pups would be perfect for their pet education visits with kids, or for therapy visits to local hospitals.  I reached out to my Volunteer Manager, Alicia Ryan, and she was happy to have our donation of stuffed dogs for Bideawee!

We donated stuffed animal pups to Bideawee to help teach kids about how to care for pets
Me with Alicia,  Sr. Manager, Volunteer Programs at Bideawee, holding one of the stuffed Champ pups outside their Wantagh, Long Island facility.

Bideawee is a no-kill shelter that rescues both dogs and cats. We care for each animal we take in until they find a loving forever-home. Bideawee means "stay a while" in Scottish, each animal is meant to "stay a while". We were founded over 110 years ago in 1903 and Bideawee is one of the OLDEST animal welfare organizations in the United States! Bideawee has lots of dogs and cats up for adoption, ready to find new homes! We not only have animals for adoptions, but we have animals that make special visits, to bring the love of pets to our community. It’s called our pet therapy program! We have this program because pets make people feel good and we want everyone to feel good!


Thank You to BAY ANIMAL HEALTH for sending us these adorable stuffed animals to help educate kids on pet care and safety!

Stuffed animals can be used help teach kids about how to properly care for dogs and keep pets safe.
I had to give one of the stuffed dogs to Phoebe, she insisted on having one for herself! She loves to snuggle with it!
Get More Pet Health & Safety Tips & Therapy Dog Information here:

Pet Health Tip from an expert Veterinarian at Bayer  

Pet Safety Tips both at home and while on Outings

Are these Pet Dangers lurking in YOUR yard?

How Therapy Dogs Help Kids Improve Their Reading Skills


M. K. Clinton said...

Congratulations on being part of the Bayer team! I love the idea of sharing pet care tips with children. Great job ❤️🐾🐾❤️

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thanks Melissa! I love the idea of teaching kids about pet care, pet safety, and if they are older, like teenagers talking with them about puppy mills and animal cruelty (dog fighting, etc.)

Colby, Raven, Elsa said...

I love the bandage on the stuffed puppy. The organization Stetson and I volunteered with for a short period of time did a program where kids read to the dogs. At the end of the program the therapy dog organization gave a stuffed toy to the kids that looked like the dog they had been reading to over the past few weeks. I love the stuffed toy idea to teach pet care to kids.

FiveSibesMom said...

What a wonderful post! I just Pinned it on my Bark About board and will be sharing over on FiveSibes! So looking forward to having you on my show Sunday and chatting with you about this and so much more!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I'm so glad you participated in a reading program with kids, it's wonderful! My Husky Icy and I also participate in kids reading to dogs programs. It's great that they could get stuffed dogs for the kids that looked like the dogs they read to - what a great idea!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Thanks so much Dorothy! I really appreciate the share. I'm so excited about the radio show!

Baymonkey said...

It is very important to teach kids how to properly touch pets and not randomly startle them because pets are like kids too! Thanks for sharing these tips!

Stephen C Monahan said...

Wonderful idea. My group GreenPetsAmerica.org is a 501c3 nonprofit. Can we apply for this training kit and Bears through Bayer? do you have a contact or website address? Thanks for sharing this.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Yes, so important! I'm amazed at how many kids don't know how to ask before petting and how many touch a dog's face excessively!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Hi Stephen, I'm so glad you like the idea of using stuffed animals to help teach kids how to care for pets! I don't believe there is a training kit, but I will reach out to my Bayer contacts and see if I can find you someone to talk to further. Meanwhile, you can get some helpful pet info on the Bayer Animal Health web site. They also have some interesting articles on their Blog, link at the top of their site: http://animalhealth.bayer.com/ Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on the post Stephen!

Parker Edward said...

Incredible post.

Tail Wag Wisdom said...

What a wonderful way to give back! I LOVE IT!!!! It's so great that the Bayer company was able to partner with this idea and donate these cute stuffed Champs with instructions on how to use it. Sounds like it was a great success. I hope it's continuing. Icy definitely looks like a great reading partner. I always love seeing sweet Phoebe pictures. She certain seemed to like her very own Champ. So adorable! I'm sharing with all my dog parents!

Anonymous said...

This is a hugely important thing to do. And it works for adults too. I did a pet first aid course and we used a stuffed cat for some things (no cat who was fit and healthy would stay still long enough!)

Kids get to have fun, cuddle a stuffie and learn essential information to keep cats and dogs safe.

Marjorie Dawson
@ Dash Kitten

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