(HealthDay News) -- Teaching children how to care for an animal can be an invaluable experience, says the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Taking care of pets can help children develop social skills and learn how to treat others nicely. However, certain guidelines must be followed.
The AACAP offers advice to parents and guardians:
Children under the age of 4 should be monitored with pets at all times.
Children under 10 are unable to care for large animals on their own.
Parents must always oversee the pet's care, regardless of the child's age.
If a child neglects the pet, parents must take over or find a new home for the animal.