Animal Safety

Whether your child and family pet are just getting to know each other or are already on their way to becoming lifelong friends, the following tips will help keep both your child and pet safe:

 

•Teach your child to read your pet's body language and identify signs that your pet wants to be left alone. You can learn more about your dog's body language in our Canine Body Postures (pdf) article.

 

•Teach your child to leave your pet alone when it retreats to a bed or crate that you've designated as a pet's "safe spot".

 

•Never threaten to get rid of a pet if your child fails to perform certain duties. Kids may stop caring about the pet to keep from feeling vulnerable to the possible loss.

 

•When your child and pet are first getting to know each other, create games that require your child to rely on words and toys rather than on direct physical contact with your pet. This will minimize the risk that your child or pet will be accidentally injured because one or the other is overexcited.

 

 

 

Resources:

Dogs and Preventing Dog Bites

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