I give you this synopsis of my home because I can’t imagine that my house is the only one that looks like this. Most of us have our 4-legged kids before our human children come into the picture and I know it can be a work in progress in getting them to all love each other and get along. So for those of you who have households like mine, or for those of you who have children that like to pet dogs and cats, these hints will be helpful in teaching your little ones to stay back until given the green light.
- Actively teach young children how to interact with animals in a gentle, respectful fashion. Demonstrate this behavior every chance you get.
- Be reminded that every animal is capable of unpredictable behavior. Never leave a young child unsupervised with an animal, even if that animal happens to be a beloved pet.
- An eating or sleeping animal is wearing a “do not disturb” sign which should be respected.
- Allow a crate or other small, enclosed shelter to be an animal’s sacred space. Bar entry to a young child.
- Avoid subjecting your pet to unnatural, uncomfortable poses for the sake of a photo!
- Teach children where to pet an animal. Usually along his/her shoulders and back are the safest areas. Stay away from the face, feet, or tail.
- Learn a pet’s body language, know what it means, and respect it.
Now don't get me wrong, our four-legged friends have to learn too. Hopefully in teaching our children how to interact with our pets, we will prevent the bites that can happen.