Loving Your Companion Animal Means Taking Care of Him or Her

(English, Citizenship Key stage 1)
Many children grow up sharing their home with a companion animal — maybe a rabbit, a dog, a cat or a rat – and if we are to be a good friend to that animal, we need to know exactly what he or she needs in order to be happy and healthy.

Activity One
Make a list of 10 things a companion animal needs. In the column next to it, say how that animal would feel without having that need fulfilled. Some answers have been filled in for you already.

Need Without it he or she would be
1. Good food regularly 1. Hungry or unwell
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. Friendship 5.
6. 6.
7. 7.
8. 8.
9. Exercise 9.
10. 10.

Use these lists to create a poster to show to people who are thinking about sharing their home with an animal.

Activity Two
This is a letter written by Rachel Rosenthal to her rat, Tatti Wattles, after he died.

Dear Tatti: I love and miss you. I loved your ratty smell, your delicate pads, always clean. I loved your long tail that freaked out so many people. I loved your whiskers, your round pink ears, your little black, shiny eyes, your warm white underbelly. I loved to watch you eat and wash. I enjoyed your padding around the house, sometimes kicking up your heels and taking off in a loping gallop. I loved your affection, your little tongue kissing me, your little paws with their tiny pink fingers holding my face. You were a beautiful creature, Tatti Wattles, and I want to tell this to the world.

Write a letter to an animal you know or to an imaginary animal telling why you love them so much. Decorate your poem with a picture of that animal.