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Keep Kids and Pets Safe with These Household Rules

If you plan on getting a pet, but you already have young children, you’ll need to take some steps to make sure everyone in the household stays safe. By teaching your children to respect and care for pets at a young age, you can reduce the chances of an injury to your children and your pets. Here are some household rules that can keep your pets and kids safe:

Know When to Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Be sure that your child knows that they shouldn’t disturb a pet who is sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, injured, in its crate, or taking care of its own babies. You can also show your child pictures or videos of pets who are angry, scared, or defensive and explain to your child that if they notice that behavior in your pet or any other animal, they should give the animal space. 

Be Gentle

Demonstrate the appropriate way to pet and play with cats and dogs, explaining that they must be gentle with animals and avoid grabbing at them, making loud noises, pulling their tail, ears, or legs, approaching them from behind, or trying to scare them. Tell your child to pet a cat or dog on the back only, with a soft, open hand. If a pet acts like it doesn’t want to be touched, then leave it alone. 

Don’t Approach a Pet That Isn’t Yours

Finally, make sure your child knows not to approach any pet that isn’t theirs, unless they get permission from you and the pet’s owner. If your child sees a pet or animal outside, they should not approach it or try to touch it or catch it. If they encounter a pet on a leash in a safe space, they can ask for permission to pet it.

If there is an accident between your child and your pet that injures your pet, be sure to take him to a veterinary hospital. A veterinarian can determine how to make sure your pet heals completely.

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