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A Safety Guide for Kids and Pets

Having children and pets in the same house can be a recipe for trouble. However, as long as you teach your children from a young age how to safely behave around pets in the household, you can avoid scuffles and injuries. It’s easy for children to get carried away when playing with animals, but roughhousing can injure your pets and your children. Here’s a simple safety guide for preventing injuries between kids and pets. 

Teach Your Children Simple Commands

Before bringing a new pet home, you should teach your children simple commands they can use with the pet, like sit, stay, no, off, and down. This will help your child develop control over the pet in case something unexpected happens.

Demonstrate Gentle Play

Next, explain to your child that they must play with pets gently. Demonstrate how they can safely and gently pet a cat or dog on the back, but that they should avoid trying to touch a pet’s ears, tail, feet, or rear. Tell your child not to sneak up on a pet or approach it from behind, and that they shouldn’t yell at a pet, make loud noises, antagonize it, grab at it, pick it up, or pull on its legs, tail, or ears. 

Explain Warning Signs in Behavior

Tell your child that animals and pets sometimes display warning signs that mean you should leave them alone and find an adult. Make sure your child can recognize signs that a pet is angry, scared, defensive, injured, or aggressive, such as growling or showing teeth. Tell your child to never approach a pet or animal that doesn’t belong to them without asking you or the owner first.

Know When to Leave a Pet Alone

Finally, make sure your child knows that there are certain times a pet should be left alone: When they are sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, injured, or in a crate.

If your child injures your pet, you should bring your pet to an emergency veterinary hospital to evaluate his injuries. A veterinarian can check your pet out and make sure he’s safe and healthy.

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