Pet Safety Tips for Children
Adding a new pet to your family is an exciting time, especially for children! During this time of joy and excitement you should also remember that you are introducing your new pet into an unfamiliar environment, which can be scary and sometimes stressful for your new furry family member. Prior to bringing home your new pet, it is important to help teach your children how to safely interact with your new puppy and dog. Having a pet can be challenging sometimes but your parenting will set the stage for the way your child treats animals in the future. Your children can grow up with healthy views and profound respect for animals. There is evidence that shows children growing up in a house with a pet improved their self-esteem, confidence and social skills. Not to mention the life long bond between child and animal that will never be forgotten.
However, this positive experience with a pet can easily go from good to bad with one mishap. Children are the number one victims of dog bites, and most of those dog bites happen with familiar dogs. It is our duty as a parent and pet owner that these accidents are avoided at all costs. Teaching children how to properly interact with dogs will prevent them from being bitten and keep their experience with dogs a positive one. Below are some tips to help teach your children to respect dogs and avoid dog bites.
- Avoid unknown dogs.
- Teach children to confidently, quietly walk away if confronted by an aggressive dog. Teach them to stand like a tree, avoid running away from the dog as this will encourage it to chase them. When the dog no longer shows interest, your child should slowly back away.
- Children should never reach over a gate or through a window to pet a dog.
- Never leave a young child unsupervised with an animal.
- Always pet an animal gently, no pulling or tugging their fur and never from behind.
- Don’t make loud noises or fast and sudden movements.
- Remind your children to always ask an adult before approaching an animal you don’t know.
- Never touch an animal’s eyes, ears, nose, mouth or genitals.
- Never approach an animal while they are eating, drinking or sleeping.
- Remind your children not to hug or restrain the animal at any time.
- Sometimes, with smaller dogs, kids think it is okay to pick them up and carry them around. Don’t let them do this.
- Never allow a child to tease an animal with food under any circumstance.
- Don’t try and force a relationship with the dog and child. Plan carefully for your new pet, this make take some time.
Even the most tolerant dogs will lose their cool. Never let your children hang, ride or lay on your dog.
Not only is it important to teach your children to interact with dogs it is also important that you help your pet in social situations. This can be done by socializing your pet at an early age. If you are adopting an older dog, make sure you are getting your pet from a well-known shelter that have staff members that can provide you with all the tools on your dog’s background and personality. Having your dog spayed or neutered will also prevent them from aggressive behavior. Most importantly make your dog apart of the family!
If you find Humane Drum helpful and would like to contribute to our cause please make a donation. Your support will help us continue to save pets that have known nothing but heartache and give them a second chance with a loving, forever family.
Remember to always spay and/or neuter your pet to do your part to control the pet population