Bringing your new pet into your home can be an exciting time. However, if you have small children that are not used to being around animals, there are some precautions you’ll need to take. The bond between your children and their new pet can be wonderful. Pet ownership teaches children compassion, responsibility, and respect. But pets and children don’t always know how to act around each other when they meet for the first time.
Without properly preparing your child and your pet to exist with one and other, you could be setting them both up for a dangerous situation. Dog bites or scratches from a new kitty are not uncommon. On the flip side, pets can be injured by well-intentioned children who simply haven’t been taught how to be gentle with their new four-legged friend.
When you bring your new pet into your home, proceed with caution when introducing them to your children for the first time. Reassure your pet that they are safe and help them get used to being handled by tiny hands. Also, you will want to teach your children how to approach and handle their new dog or cat. Make sure that they understand that their new pet is a living creature and not a plaything.
Sometimes, parents think it’s cute when their child playfully tugs at their dog’s ears or tries to sit on them like a horse. However, this can be a stressful and dangerous situation for your pet. Teaching your children how to properly respect their pet’s boundaries can help you avoid any accidents down the road.
Understand that it might take your pet time to get used to being around your children, especially if they have never been around kids before. Make sure that all of your pet’s interactions with your kids are positive and stress-free. Before allowing your child to pet your dog or cat freely, make sure that they have a few interactions where your pet can come up to your child on their own terms, sniff them, and just say hello.
Pay attention to your pet’s body language. If they seem stiff or agitated during an interaction with your child, separate the two and try again at a later time. If your pet is responding well to your child, you can also reinforce the behavior by giving them a treat as they allow your child to gently pet them.
Lastly, be consistent. Remember, this relationship is new for both your child and your pet, so give them time to get used to each other. Before you know, your pet and your child will be inseparable friends!
For all of your pet’s medical, grooming, and boarding needs, turn to the pet experts at All Pets Medical & Surgical Center. We offer a wide variety of services to help support the health and wellness of your new family member. From routine checkups to emergency situations, our team of dedicated veterinary professionals is always here for you and your four-legged companion.