Dealing with Dogs: Encouraging Safety With Pets

Dealing with Dogs: Encouraging Safety With Pets

Dogs are fantastic companions. However, when teased or bothered, even the friendliest dog can lash out. This typically only happens when the animal is provoked. By biting or acting out, it believes that it is protecting its territory. Knowing the curious nature of children, it’s no surprise that the most common age group of animal bite victims is children between the ages of five and nine years old.  Here at Child Safety Store, it is our goal to keep kids safe. Dogs are “man’s best friend,” but let’s take a look at how to make your dog “child’s best friend” as well. 

Here are some tips to cover with your little one that will help them to build a safe and lasting friendship with their pet: 

Choose Carefully. 

Not all dogs are alike. Before taking your cute pup home, research different breeds to better understand their temperament and how well they socialize with children.  Other points you may consider are how large a dog may grow, how well they train, and how much space they need to run around. All of these factors should play into whether or not you can provide a proper home for the dog.

Do Not Disturb a Dog.

Imagine treating a human being the way you treat your dog; then imagine how that person may react to your treatment. A dog should never be disturbed, especially when it is eating or sleeping. Interrupting a dog’s feeding, teasing it while it is trying to sleep or getting too close to its face will irritate it, making it more likely to act out.

Supervise Your Child.   

A child, especially a toddler, should never be left alone with a dog.  A simple movement like taking a dog’s toy, even if that dog is usually friendly, may set off an unkind reaction from the pooch.  In the case of curious children, you may find that they play rough with their pet. This can include things like trying to ride the dog like a pony or pulling on its ears or fur.  Actions like these may have the child thinking that they are playing, when in fact the dog is getting upset.  Keeping a close eye on your child’s interactions with the dog can help to prevent unsafe situations from developing.

Recognize Signs of an Aggravated Dog.

Children should be taught to never approach an unfamiliar dog. First, they should ask the dog’s owner for permission to pet it. Whether dealing with a familiar dog or not, children should learn to recognize signs of an aggravated pet. When frustrated, a dog may lift its lip, growl, back away from you, or raise its ears. If you notice these signs, do not approach the dog.

Teach Your Child to Care for Their Dog. 

Pets are a big responsibility. Teaching your children to respect animals can help them to develop a sense of responsibility, as well as a respect for their pet and other living beings. You should also oversee your child’s care for their pet to ensure that the pet is not being neglected. You can also encourage positive interactions between kids and their pets. For instance, a game like fetch is an appropriate one for them to play. Allowing your child to give a reward for good behavior will also help the two to bond. The key is to teach both the dog and the children to be calm and polite with one another.

Unsafe situations with dogs can easily be avoided. If a child respects their furry friend and handles them with care, that pet can provide priceless childhood memories.

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