Children Interacting with Pets

 In Andes-Straley Services, Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital, Pet Care

Children and pets: they’re a great combination in your growing family, but they do come with a high level of responsibility. When you have both children and pets in your home, you have to teach your children to interact with your pets safely–both for the pet’s safety and the child’s! Consider some of these key tips.

Don’t Leave Children with Pets Alone

Young children, in particular, may struggle to remember to behave appropriately around the pet–and even the best-behaved pet will nip or scratch if it feels threatened enough. Especially in the early days of introducing a pet to your household, make sure that there is always an adult in the room if the child and pet are together.

Appropriate Behavior

Please pay particular attention to how you want your child to interact with the pet, and make sure that’s how they see you interacting with it. For example, if you don’t want a child to engage in rough play with the new puppy, make sure the child doesn’t see you roughhousing with it.

Get Away Space

No matter how careful your child, there will be times when they push your pet to its limits. Designate a space for your pet to get away, and let the child know that it’s off-limits while in that space.

Show, Don’t Just Tell

You can tell your child all day long to “be gentle with the kitty,” but if your child doesn’t understand what “gentle” means, they may struggle to behave appropriately with the pet. Make sure to show your child how to be gentle. Display how the animal likes to be held. Discuss animal body language. The more your child knows, the better they can behave appropriately with the pet.

Do you need more help introducing a pet to your family–or a quality vet to help maintain your pet’s overall health? Contact us┬átoday to learn how we can help.