There are many benefits to children having pets, from increasing self-esteem to learning nurturing techniques and developing a loving bond. But children and pets need to learn how to interact with one another to create a safe environment to avoid bites, scratches and injury. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and we cannot guarantee complete safety; humans, animals and life can be unpredictable. Even the most trustworthy animals and children can have accidents. Continue reading to learn more about teaching your children pet safety rules.
- Never leave children alone unsupervised with your pets.
- Do not allow children to pet or approach animals while they are chewing on their toys or treats, eating, sleeping, or when they are in their crates or cages. This also includes while animals are overly stimulated or excited — when someone comes to the door or when the dog is barking at a squirrel.
- Teach children how to pet your animals gently. No pulling or tugging on limbs, ears, tails, etc.
- Avoid loud noises or sudden movements when around pets. You don’t want to scare them!
- Teach your children to always ask to pet other people’s animals. If the owner says yes, teach your children how to appropriately approach an animal:
- Never run up to a stranger’s animal — always approach slowly.
- Keep quiet and still.
- Reach out with your hand with your palm up to allow the animal to smell your hand first.
We hope this blog entry is informative and will help create a safe environment for your pets and children. Remember, there needs to be respect and care on both sides.