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How to Keep Both Your Pets & Children Safe

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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!

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7 Responses to “How to Keep Both Your Pets & Children Safe”

  1. Cari June 2, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Great tips!

  2. Michelle June 3, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Thanks Cari!
    Michelle

  3. Karen P June 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    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.

    That is a really great tip that way the pet knows that they have a 100% safe zone that they can retreat to. They can always retreat instead of feeling like they have to defend themselves or whatever.

    • admin June 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

      Thanks Karen. We think it’s really important to keep these simple tips in mind so everyone in the family – pets included – can be happy. :)
      Michelle

  4. Abbie Neary June 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanks for the tips. Our dog has been very calm with visiting babies. It is good to consider how she will be when permanent competition arrives soon.

  5. Mary Williams June 12, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Never try to break up a dog fight. When my brother was little, our dog got into a fight with a neighbor dog and he tried to break it up. He got bit in the face and had to have surgery to reattach his bottom lip. He thought because it was our dog, he could just pick him up, but that is so wrong.

  6. Marc-Andre Taillefer June 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    I think each dog should have their own place in your house. A place where it is off limits to the kids. That way, kids know that they shouldn’t go there and dog knows that they have a safe zone that they can retreat to.

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