Pets have a huge impact on a child’s development. Children love cute animals and are often intrigued by having a pet of their own. Here are our useful tips for making sure both your child and pet are safe around each other:
1. Slowly introduce them to each other
New environments and people around can be incredibly stressful for pets. Use Pet Remedy’s Plug-in Calming Diffuser to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets.
Children should be made aware of two things when first meeting their four-legged best friends to be. Firstly, they need to wait for the pet to approach them first. Secondly, they need to learn how to properly pet them and that not all animals (especially cats) enjoy hugs.
2. Encourage safe games
Encourage games that are safe for children and animals. Don't let them pull on, poke, or climb on your pets. Interactive games such as fetch are great for bonding and don’t require the child and the dog to hold a toy at the same time.
Chuckit! Ball Launcher is perfect for the game of fetch. Its cupped end securely grasps muddy, slimy balls, helping little hands stay clean no matter how messy playtime gets.
For cat toys that won’t result in scratches, kids can use the KONG Cat Wubba Boa Teaser toy.
3. Don’t be overly careful
Young children often don’t have the empathy and self-awareness so they’re not as gentle as adults and can accidentally hurt pets.
Join in with playtime, so you know when it's time for a break. If your pet starts to look unhappy in the room allow them to go into their own space to do as they please.
You also need to make sure your pets don't play rough. Teach them the boundaries, and reward them for gentle play with pet treats such Pet Munchies Chicken Strips Dog Treats and Pet Munchies Gourmet Chicken Liver Cat Treats.
4. Teach them a few rules
Children shouldn’t approach pets or animals if/when:
- They’re holding food. Pets can be unpredictable and although you’re 100% sure your Fido won’t bite, their weight can be a serious risk to a small child if they were to jump on them.
- They’re playing with a toy. You do not want the meltdowns that come when your pet tries to play but ends up pulling teddy's arm off. If you keep playtimes separate and toys tidy this is easy to avoid. Introduce them to some safe toys that do not require direct contact such as King Cat Catnip Bubbles or Boomer Ball, perfect for dogs who love to chase and conquer.
- Pets are sleeping. Waking them up may cause unnecessary stress. Teach children that when your pet is in a certain area that they do not want to play.