We love our pets and our children, but when we hear the tragic news of children being mauled by pets what is a parent to do? A few things to keep in mind so both your child and your pet can be safe.
Teach Your Children NOT To Run Away from Strange Dogs
Your instincts may tell you to “scream and run”, but that will set off the dog’s “prey response.” Instead, teach your child to use a loud, firm voice and tell the dog to “go home”. If the dog is just curious and watching your child (ears perked, tail wagging, relaxed stance) tell the child to walk away calmly. If the dog is standing in a threatening manner with ears laid back along his head, body tense, tail up (may or may not be wagging slowly) tell the dog to “Go lay down” in a firm voice, do not yell, do not scream. Any sudden move may trigger an attack. Tell your child to start to walk away slowly.
Never Approach a Pet When It Is Eating
Every child should know to leave a pet alone when it is eating. Animals are protective of their food and may snap at, bite or claw at someone who tries to disturb them while eating.
Give Your Pet Space
Your pet should have a place it can go where it cannot be bothered: a pillow, a crate, a doghouse, whatever. This place should be totally off limits to kids and adults.
Never Leave Your Child With a Pet Unattended
Even the friendliest pet will bite if it is in pain or just had enough. Teach your child to be gentle and respect the pet just as she would respect any member of the family.
More tips for pet safety can be found on the ASPCA website.
What tips do you have for pet and child safety? Please share them with us!