Children and pets are often the best of friends and both parties benefit greatly from this bond. Unfortunately however it is not always a fairy tale ending and close supervision is required at all times to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all.
Young children cannot be expected to read or understand a pets body language and vice versa a pet cannot mindread the child either! Children and pets should never be left unsupervised.
It is important to teach them to respect our pets boundaries and to look for clues such as ears back on their head or tail tucked low (or carried high and straight) showing that the pet is unsure and does not want to play. Creating a safe space for our pets to retreat to which is out of bounds for children at all times is helpful (this is especially important where the pet was in the home before the baby arrived).
Many charities such as the DogsTrust have online tips and tutorials for children of all ages to learn pet safety and are a great way to pass a rainy day! For older children, encouraging them to teach a pet dog some basic commands such as sit, wait and roll over can help to create a positive and life long bond between them.
If you need a ‘Clicker Trainer’ or treats – pop in to us at Woodview – we’s love to see some videos of the woek you are doing with your pets!