Keeping Timmy and Fido Safe and Happy
Getting a pet can be a fantastic way to introduce your child to the concepts of responsibility and proper socialization. However, it can be hard to teach your son or daughter to be nice to their new furry friend, especially when they’re very young.
Young children tend to get excited around animals, and for good reason. Cats and dogs are fun to watch and play with, and children can’t resist stroking their fluffy coats. Animals may not always be so tolerant of a young child’s excitability or rambunctious styles of play. This can lead to your pet getting overly stressed or agitated, and can lead to unfortunate injuries. It only takes a matter of seconds for something to go horribly wrong, and therefore safety must be of the utmost importance.
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You should never leave a young child alone with an animal. No matter how docile you believe your pet to be, you cannot discount the possibility that they may react negatively to too much stimulation. It is important for an adult to be in the room in order to intervene immediately should something go wrong. This is important for both your pet and your child’s sake, as a child can easily hurt a small animal without realizing it.
Petting and playing with an animal should be an interactive and closely supervised activity. You should teach your child by example – show them how to properly stroke and play with an animal. Teach them the warning signs of an overstimulated animal, and end the play session if they occur.
Children and their pets can form lifelong and enduring friendships. With close supervision and leading by example, you can instill in your child a love and deep respect for their furry companions.
Guest post by Jenny Holt