Did you get a new pet? Congratulations – we wish you the best of luck with the training process, but pets aren’t the only ones that need training. Children also need to be taught how to handle and care for pets. Training kids to be with your pets is essential to being a responsible pet owner. They will likely have some things to learn while interacting with their new furry companion. Here are some tips when training kids to be with your pets:

Be Available and Accessible during Interactions

Always be seen and available when a young child plays with an animal. A neighbour’s pet or yours could be trustworthy, but an accident is always possible. It would be best for slow and easy introductions to occur before playtime begins. Having a pet and child feel comfortable and safe around each other is essential and will give you peace of mind in future interactions.  

Teach Your Kid about Personal Space

Like humans, pets need their personal space. Teach your child that a pet eating or chewing on a toy should not be approached. Dogs and other animals are prone to “resource guarding” and don’t enjoy their personal space being invaded. Crossing this boundary could result in an unwanted and aggressive reaction. It would help if you also taught your children to ask the owner before approaching another pet. If they grant permission to proceed to their pet, they must approach them calmly and avoid making loud or sudden noises while meeting them. Lastly, explain to your children not to disturb resting pets. If they are too young to understand, it may be beneficial to designate a safe resting place for your pet to sleep to avoid unnecessary interactions. 

Training Kids to be with Your Pets

Teach Your Kid about Handling Pets

While it’s easy for a child to playfully tug on ears or a tail or chase and run, actions like this could, unfortunately, result in a scratch or a nibble. Teach your child not to be rough while petting or playing, and make sure they do not tug or pull your animal or approach suddenly from behind. Similarly, teach your children how and when to show affection to their pets. While humans love affection like hugging and cuddling, it is often misunderstood that all pets also love this. Teach your children to understand that their pets may not enjoy these interactions as they would.

Teach Your Kid about Reading Signs and Behavior

It will be hard for your children to know what their furry friend feels, whether it is fear and anxiety or aggression and anger, if they don’t like something. Try your best to explain the signs your pet shows depending on its current state of feelings and body language. Remember, when you decide to add a furry member to your family, it’s essential to implement some simple rules and teach some basic guidelines to keep your new pet and children happy, healthy and safe.

Training kids to be with your pets can take a while as they get accustomed to each other. It is always important to remember that pets may be part of your family but are still animals. Above all, your children (and everyone else) must remember that your dog, cat, or any pet is a living creature to be cared for and respected.


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