Lesson Plan Ideas

Lesson Plan Image

Good Neighbour Pets


  1. Understand the difference between responsible and irresponsible pet ownership.
  2. Understand how responsible pet ownership is an important part of getting along in a community and being good neighbours.
  3. Identify the specific ways in which pet owners can be responsible.
  4. Describe how pets benefit from responsible pet ownership.


Many people don’t realize how their pet’s behaviour can adversely affect their neighbours, and that well behaved pets are happier and safer.

Curriculum Connection: Alberta Education Program of Studies

Social Studies

Kindergarten: I Belong

Appreciate how their participation in their communities affects their sense of belonging.

Grade 1: My World - Home, School and Comunity

Value the groups and communities to which they belong.

Determine what makes their communities thrive by exploring and reflecting upon the following questions for inquiry.

Grade 2: Canada’s Dynamic Communities

Demonstrate skills of cooperation, conflict resolution and consensus building:



Have students make a list of how pets can be good and bad neighbours. Guide students to include these issues:

What do responsible and irresponsible mean? Divide all the behaviours brainstormed into these two categories.

Our Neighbours’ Pets Poster

Use the poster Our Neighbour’s Pets to have students work in small groups to identify all the examples of irresponsible pet ownership.

What problem could be caused by the irresponsible behavior?

Draw your own picture of a responsible or irresponsible pet owner.

Role Play

Look at your list of things that are irresponsible. When pets do bad things that bother neighbours, whose fault is it? The pet or the owner? How did you learn how to behave? Who told you the rules?

Have students remember times when they were blamed for a mistake they made when no one had told them how to behave? How did they feel – confused? Angry? Embarrassed??

In small groups describe, dramatize and discuss situations in which pets don’t know the rules and cause problems. How do you think the pets feel when they get in trouble? How could this have been prevented? Is it fair to blame the pet if they don’t know? Can we expect the pet to learn the very first time they are told or do they need reminders?

How is responsible pet behaviour similar to responsible behaviour of children?


Think of all the ways that you can help your pet to be a good neighbour.


How can you keep your dog from running loose or causing problems when he is out?

What can you do to make sure your dog doesn’t jump on people, growl or bite? Will your dog be happier if he is trained? Do yelling and hitting work to train a dog? How can you make sure he still gets enough exercise and play?

Cats and dogs

Why is good identification (tattoos, tags, licenses, microchips) important? How can being lost hurt your pet and cause a lot of work for other people?

How will all this help you to get along with your neighbours? How can it help keep your pet safe?

Create a Good Neighbour Award

Students could create a “Good Neighbor” award for a pet owner.

What qualifications would the neighbour and his/her pets need to win the award?

Have students design and make the award and give it to a responsible pet owner they know.