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Children and pets seem to have the perfect connection. Their energy levels match and it’s no wonder that many parents find the benefits of having pets around. But still, there are parents who are cautious when it comes to their kids playing with the family dog.
As a mom first to dogs, I told myself then that if I had a child, I’ll let him or her grow up with a dog by his or her side (turns out he’s a cat lover). And when I was pregnant with Kai, four (now three) canine sisters were waiting for him. Zee is the indoor dog, the one I have with me for five years now. I trust her fully because she’s shown time and again, to me and other people, that she’s indeed a good dog. But even though how loyal Zee has proven, I still remained cautious the first few months Kai arrived home.
Even trusted family pets have the tendency to bite. Unfortunately, in such cases, it’s always the dog who’s at the receiving end. They get abandoned, surrendered to a shelter or worse, put down. As a dog parent, it is your job to also protect your quadruped companion from situations where he or she could snap – and this might happen when you have a noisy and naughty little human.
#1. Don’t leave your child and your dog unattended.
Yes, you may have the best and most loyal dog in the world but he can snap at any time, especially if a small child plays roughly, which they do most of the time. Toddlers (and even babies) yank tails, pull the ears and stare directly at the dog’s face and these acts can be very confrontational for your canine companion.
#2. Teach your kids how and how not to treat pets
When your child is old enough to understand a word you say, let him or her know of some safety rules when being around the family pet. Tell your child to be calm around your dog and to avoid jumping and screaming at your furry friend. Remind them that to treat animals with kindness and respect. Your child should understand that it’s not nice to yank tails or pull the ears of the dog, sneaking up behind them and even cornering them. Doing these can turn the dog’s Defense Mode on, and when they do, they could react by nipping, biting and growling.
#3. Correct rough play
When the fun gets intense, your child can’t help but get too physical around your dog. Parents need to correct their child if he or she starts slapping, punching or pinching the family pet. The same thing goes for the furry companion who may start playbiting your kid.
#4.Don’t let your kid approach eating dogs.
This is important to teach to your child especially when your dog is known to be displaying a behavior known as resource guarding. There are dog trainers that can help correct resource guarding in dogs and unless you are willing to pay for a training session, you and your child need to stay away when it’s feeding time.
#5. Ask permission before petting
Kids can’t help but squeal with delight at the sight of an adorable dog. They assume that all dogs are approachable just like the one they have at home. However, it’s important to teach your kid not to touch an unfamiliar dog immediately. Instead, they need to ask permission before doing so.
Let kids play safe around dogs and let them and your furry best friends live happily and harmoniously in your home by considering these tips. Have you got more to share? Let me know in the comments section below!