Kids Around Dogs: Safety Tips
Dogs are great pets that will give you a lot of love if treated well. They’re great to play with, to accompany you on daily walks and they just look cute (especially as puppies). Research has even shown that dog owners are often happier and have a lower risk of depression. Also for kids dogs can be wonderful, being great playmates, keeping them company when they are lonely. Taking care of a dog also helps teach them about responsibility. Dogs can also be dangerous however, especially for young children. Whether it’s your own dog or someone else’s, you should always be careful when letting your kids be around dogs. Here are a few tips that can help keep your kids safe from dog bites or other dog accidents.
Things To Teach Your Kids
Dogs should not be hugged or kissed
Hugging or kissing a dog can be dangerous, especially for a child. These well-intended, loving actions are a common cause of dog bites. Teach your child that dogs don’t like to be hugged or kissed. If they want to pet the dog, teach them to scratch it on the side of the neck or chest instead.
Avoiding an unknown dog
Tell your kids that they should always stay away from dogs that they don’t know, especially if they are not on a leash and/or there is no owner around. Teach them that if a dog they don’t know approaches them they should stand still and not move until the dog moves away again. If the family dog gets a bit too lively or aggressive they should do the same.
Teasing a dog can be dangerous, so make sure that your kids know this. Also teach them to never bother the dog when it is eating, sleeping or defending something.
Actions You as a Parent Should Take
Make sure the dog is trained well
Go to dog obedience classes with your dog to make sure it is trained properly. You should never try to train your dog all on your own unless you have a lot of experience with dog training. Also take your older kids along with you to the classes so they can learn how to treat the dog and the dog can learn to accept their commands.
Never leave your kids alone around a dog, especially not around a dog that’s not your own. Always keep an eye on your kids when they are playing with the family dog and with a young child you’d want to keep a hand on your dog just in case.
Things Any Dog Owner Should Do
Neuter your dog
Neutered dogs are generally less aggressive and also healthier.
Keep an eye on your dog
Always keep an eye on your dog when it’s interacting with children of friends or family. Make sure that children don’t hug, kiss, tease or disturb the dog. When you go out, keep your dog on a leash when there are other people around.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The Law Offices of WT Johnson, a personal injury law firm in Dallas, Texas. Zane enjoys having a miniature Schnauzer that wouldn’t hurt a fly.