If your young kids have been asking for a puppy and you're just not ready to be the one who has to take care of it when the kids forget, Dogs
Wow Dogs might be a timely alternative. Aimed at children aged 3 to 6, the Dogs
Wow Dogs DVD and CD offer little pet-lovers the info they need to know in a fun and catchy way.
The video characters are appealing (especially to the pre-K set) and are obviously enjoying themselves too. They are passionate about kids learning how to take care of their pets. Covering topics from being a best friend to taking baths to feeding time to visiting the vet to the joys of being a mutt, the music CD complements the DVD, but it also could be used alone. Anything set to music will make its way out of the mouths of kids--wait until you hear "Peekaboo Choo Choo" or the doo-wop favorite, "Suppertime Wow" (for the tenth time)!
The included full-color "Fun Book," co-sponsored by the American Humane Society, uses games, charts, and party planning to reinforce concepts. It also includes resources for parents and kids as they prepare to add a pet to their families. The booklet concludes with a certificate of completion for the child who agrees to learn how to help his or her dog be healthy, happy, and good. The pledge also commits the pint-sized owner to teaching his or her dog in a fun and kind way and to play with the dog.
Pros: As a mom of older children, I have had my share of unplanned pet duties. These Animal Wow products help educate the kids about the responsibility of pet ownership--they will learn that it's not just about snuggling and wrestling with Fido that makes a good owner. Plus, if the time isn't quite right for a new pet, this might keep the kids occupied in a positive manner until the time is right.
Cons: When I asked my boys, ages 6 and 8, to give me their input, they said it was babyish. Well, it is aimed at a younger set. Plus, we live on a farm and have dogs that the boys care for, among other animals, so they already knew most of the instructions. They did concede that it was good for kids without their experience, and they enjoyed the CD outright (although I sang along more than they did!).
The bottom line is that I wish I had been given the benefit of this product before my kids started acquiring animals. While many of the lessons could be learned in a hands-on way, being prepared ahead of time is definitely preferable!