Isn’t it wonderful to see puppies and kids grow up together and become buddies for life? While pets and children can form strong bonds, it’s a challenge at times, managing a puppy and very young children.
Children will be all excited about a puppy of course, but they tend to invade the pet’s space and unknowingly fail to heed a pet’s warnings to back off. If a child is not taught proper interaction with pets, it can lead to them being bitten.
To ensure that everyone is kept happy and safe, simply follow our do’s and don’ts when it comes to puppies and kids interactions!
Puppies and kids
- Do provide a safe retreat. Even if your puppy adores children, he needs a space where he can relax, and know he won’t be pestered. Turn a room or a crate into a safe canine sanctuary that’s off-limits to kids.
Do allow independence. Never force your puppy to stay and be hugged, played with, or picked up if he’s uncomfortable. Your dog should be the one to choose how much interaction he wants. If he wants to leave, let him leave.
Do teach your children proper interaction. Show your child how to gently pet, rather than aggressively pat. Young kids should be taught that puppies are not stuffed animals to be jostled around or have their ears and tails pulled. Teach them how to properly support the hind legs when holding the puppy.
- Do supervise. Be fully present and pay attention to what is happening at all times. Supervise your puppy’s and child’s playtime together, and intervene if you see that things are getting out of hand.
Puppies And kids
Our list of don’ts is mostly about teaching your child proper pet care and handling. Work with your children and show them how to be kind and compassionate. Setting these boundaries is important for mutual trust between puppy and child and the safety of everyone:
Don’t tease or hurt a puppy. This one is so obvious, we’re going to look at it first. Do not let your children taunt the puppy or play roughly. Letting your child do so can result in aggression. Small children especially, are prone to pulling and grabbing the tail, or the ears. Supervise carefully to ensure no one gets hurt.
Don’t interrupt their meal. Most dogs are naturally protective of their food or chew bones. Your child may not mean any harm, but your pup might perceive your child as a threat, and react by growling or biting.
Don’t disturb a sleeping puppy. Dog’s can easily be startled when sleeping, and it may trigger your puppy to react, even if by accident. Puppies need their rest too!
Puppies are one of the best companions, and guardians for a growing child. If your child is old enough, get them involved with the care and training.
Of course you will need to show them how it’s done, and make sure the puppy is being fed every morning, but both your puppy and child will enjoy this immensely.
It’s a fantastic way to teach responsibility to your kid, plus build a bond between the two that will last a lifetime!
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