Learn practical strategies to strengthen the bond between a child and a pet
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The addition of a pet to the family is an exciting milestone. Pet ownership is somewhat similar to parenthood. Both come with many responsibilities, but the sense of satisfaction and joy make it worth it. Accommodating a new pet in your home can be particularly challenging if you have small kids in your home.
Most pets and children get along really well; however, in some cases, children may be wary of the pet animal and vice versa. Being the adult in the house, you are responsible for developing a smooth and friendly relationship between your child and your pet. We have listed a few helpful tips to develop a stronger bond between your child and your pet in this article. So read on.
Make Children A Part of The Pet Care Routine
- Children are always drawn to fun new activities. One proven way to establish a friendly bond between children and pets is by making children a part of the pet care routine. While feeding and training your pet, keep your child on board and give them relevant instructions.
After your child becomes familiar with the pet, they can independently carry out the feeding process. However, adequate supervision is required because both children and animals lack rational judgment and tend to act on their instincts. It is important to teach your child the basic child safety rules before trusting them around the pet animal.
Create Opportunities for Shared Playtime
- Both children and animals crave playtime. A pet can be the ideal playtime companion for your child and vice versa. Involve your child in all the outdoor activities you may carry with your pet. These include a trip to the park, water games, chasing the frisbee, hiding and seeking dog treats, chasing bubbles, etc. Fun activities both indoors and outdoors will encourage positive interactions between the child and your pet and develop a stronger bond.
With time, allow more independence for your child while interacting with the pet animal. E.g., while taking out the dog for a walk, your child can take independent control of the dog’s leash after a while, under your supervision.
Educate Children About What Constitutes Inappropriate and Dangerous Behavior Around A Pet
- Children don’t grasp the dangers an animal can pose if they overstep the mark around them. While most pets view children as an extension of their owners and are very fond of them, certain provoking and inappropriate activities can incite a dangerous reaction from animals.
For E.g., dogs and cats should not be disturbed when they are sleeping, eating, resting, etc. Children must not tug on the furs of animals nor attempt to sit or lie on them. Likewise, kissing or hugging an animal around the neck can also cause them to react unpredictably. You should also teach your child to recognize the telltale signs displayed by a stressed-out animal, such as barring of teeth, producing hissing sounds, panting, nervousness, etc.
Take Immediate Action if You Observe Signs of Aggression From the Pet
- Despite your best efforts, your pet and child may not get along. If you spot signs of aggression from the animal, intervene immediately and keep the pet animal and your child separate from each other.
Investigate the cause of your pet’s aggression. It could be because of an underlying health issue. Your pet can be in pain, which may cause it to become unsocial. Other reasons include troublesome behavior displayed by your child towards your pet which may cause them to display aggression towards your child.
- Whatever the cause may be, intervene and mediate between your child and pet and try to establish friendly grounds.
Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center offers the most convenient and comprehensive care for your pets. We offer regular checkups, dental care, and urgent care services for all pets. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. for more information, call us at 434-971-9800.