Pets and Kids: When Two (Cute) Worlds Collide

Nothing says cuteness quite like an adorable young child or a new pet. When they get together, though, we need to do our homework to make sure everyone gets along alright. Generally speaking, kids love pets and want to show that love. This is something to encourage. Adults just need to supervise to make sure the kids and the pets have a good experience. Here are a few tips to help you along the way. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if you have any other questions or concerns.

Supervise children
One thing to always keep in mind: never leave small children unattended with a pet, especially a new pet. You want to be in control of the situation and know what’s going on. 

Be calm
Teach children to be calm around pets. Dogs, cats, and other animals are exciting to little people, but their excitement can make an animal nervous. Teach children to use “soft hands” and to be relaxed around animals.

Respect your pet, especially when eating or sleeping
Remember, pets are animals. They have instincts to protect themselves, especially when they feel vulnerable. Teach kids to leave pets alone in certain situations, especially when they are sleeping or eating.

Keep children safe
It’s not just about keeping your pet safe. Be on the alert when your child is near a new or strange animal. If you sense tension in the animal, give it some space.

Ask before petting
If a pet is not yours, make sure you ask the owner before your child pets it. Kids want to reach out and pet a dog or cat when they see it, but always ask for permission first.

Reward good behavior
This goes for kids and pets. Encourage healthy and positive interaction and reward them when they do what you ask of them.

These tips will help keep the cuteness going. The bond between a child and a pet is a special one. It’s important to teach them some boundaries from the beginning to get off to a good start.