Kids love animals and are naturally drawn to them. But even the most obedient pet can nip, scratch, or even bite a child if provoked. We all know children are curious. Tugging on Kitty’s tail or interrupting Buster while he is eating is never a good idea and could get your child hurt.
Do not let this deter you from getting a pet if you have a child, and please do not keep your child away from the family’s current pet because of fear that your child may get hurt by them. Pets are good for kids, and kids are good for pets.
Here are a few tips to follow to help keep your kids safe and your pets happy too:
- Spay or neuter your pet. Studies have shown that spayed or neutered pets are less likely to bite than pets that are not. Spaying and neutering your pet also helps them live happier and healthier lives; not to mention it helps reduce pet overpopulation.
- Enroll your dog in obedience classes. If your dog has a mind of his own and does not listen to basic commands, or decides he wants to jump on everyone and everything, it would be beneficial to enroll him or her in basic obedience training. You do not want a large dog running around out of control in your home; your child could easily be injured in the process.
- Treat your pet like family. You keep up with your child’s immunizations, so why not keep up with your animal’s immunizations as well? Keeping your pet’s shots up to date will help guard them against certain diseases that can harm your pet and even your child.
- Use flea and tick prevention methods. Use products designed to safeguard your pet against fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks are not only bothersome, but ticks can also spread diseases such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis on to your family members and pets.
- Never tie a pet up outside or isolate him/her from the rest of the family for long periods of time. This can cause your pet to feel unwanted and could cause aggression. Keep your pet around you and other family members as much as possible.
- Know your pet’s moods. Like humans, pets enjoy a little private time to themselves. If you see your cat or dog wants to be left alone, make sure your small child does not bother them at this time. They could easily get bitten or scratched. Even a loud bark or hiss could scare your child and make him or her further fear your pet. Keep them away from your pet during their alone time to avoid this from happening.
- Avoid petting in the wrong places. Teach your children to approach your pets slowly and never pet them on their head or face area. Instead, they should gently stroke your cat or dog along their back, belly, neck, or on their sides.
- Teach your kids never to pull. Kids are infamous for pulling pet’s ears and tails, and that is why so many children are scratched, bitten, and nipped at each year.
Having a pet in your home can be a positive and rewarding experience for you, and especially your children. Pets teach kids compassion and offer them companionship. If you teach your children these basic animal safety tips early on, you will help eliminate any future problems between your children and your pets later on down the road.