Man’s best friend, the dog, is one of the world’s most popular pets. Dogs are loyal and, for the most part, affectionate and good with people. It’s always good to keep in mind, however, that dogs are still animals with the ability to inflict bodily harm at a given notice. Your family pet might tolerate your child’s hugs and kisses but another dog may not. It is always a good idea to teach your children the following valuable safety tips.

Tips For Loving The Family Pet

Before your family adopts a furry friend, take time to research different dogs, since each dog breed has a unique temperament and risk level. Consult with a veterinarian or other animal expert if necessary about which dog is right for your particular family. If your child exhibits a fear of dogs, it is best to hold off on the adoption for the time being. Dogs can sometimes react to fear with aggression. Do not assume that by adding a dog to your family that your child will get over their fears quickly. All members of your household should be in happy agreement with your new friend.

Spend time with the dog you are about to adopt; look for compatibility and signs of aggression. Once you have made that special bond and brought your new dog home, have the animal spayed or neutered if not already done. This has been known to reduce aggressive tendencies. Make sure you take the time to properly socialize and train your dog. Teach children not to play aggressively with a dog (like wrestling or chasing) as this could lead quickly to growling or biting. A child should be taught never to touch their pet when it is sleeping or eating. By following these simple guidelines, your child and their dog will enjoy a long and affectionate relationship!

The Unfamiliar Dog

Even if you do not have a dog in your home, it is important to teach children about safely approaching a dog they do not know. If they see a dog outside without a leash or owner, they should never approach this dog. Teach your child not to scream or run from a loose dog and to always report stray dogs to an adult.

Even if the dog is on a leash, never pet a dog without first asking the owner. If the owner says it is alright to pet the animal, always let the dog sniff the back of your hand before petting. Even dogs that look friendly might not react well to a stranger. Again, remind children never to attempt to pet a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.

Dogs can be special friends and with proper handling and training will become loving family companions for years to come.