Children and Pets
Pets are an excellent addition to any family, especially one with children. Animals have so many physical and emotional benefits that will help children grow. If you decide to bring a pet into your family, it’s important to teach your children how to interact with them. Here are our tips and tricks on introducing your children to their new furry friend!
Boundaries are an excellent first step when introducing your pet to your family. Remember that all of this is new for your pet and you don’t want to overwhelm them. One way to make your pet feel comfortable is to designate a room in your home to be exclusively theirs. This gives your pet the chance to get comfortable in one space, before having to explore all the others. After your pet has been introduced to their room, you can slowly begin introducing family members to them! For example, after you have shown your kitten their litter box and food bowls, you could bring in your kids!
Slow and Patient
Never assume your pet is going to feel 100 percent comfortable with every family member the second they walk into your home. To ensure your pet’s safety and your family, do introductions slowly. Make sure your children are not running around the room or scaring your new pet. Puppies are overly excitable, but it’s important to still take it slow. In addition, sometimes it takes time for your animal to warm up to your family. Don’t force it. For example, if your pet is hesitant around your kids, don’t force your children to hold them for extended periods of time. It may take time for them to warm up to one another!
Treats and Toys
Treats and toys are excellent ice breakers between pets and their new owners. Who doesn’t love a treat and a new toy? One way to socialize your child and pet is by having your child play with them. This is an easy way to make your pet feel more comfortable with your child while having fun. Relationships build faster from positive experiences. So if your pet learns they will get attention and treats from your child, they may warm up faster! It’s a good idea for adults to try out treats and toys with the new pet, before allowing children to do so. Sometimes puppies can be unintentionally nippy.
When introducing your pet and children, make sure an adult is always present. For more information on making your children and pets more comfortable around one another, check out Andes-Straley. At Andes-Straley Vet, we offer a variety of services including general veterinarian care, grooming, boarding, daycare, and more! To contact us, check us out online here or call us at (423) 378-4443 today!