Keeping Everyone Safe: Kids and Pets
Most children seem to have a natural affection for pets. For many of us, it’s not uncommon to see kids of all ages wanting to “pet the kitty” or “play with the doggy,” even if they have a pet of their own at home.
But it’s important to remember that children don’t come with an innate understanding of how to handle and interact with pets safely. Even if there has been a pet in the home since birth, as parents (and pet parents), we need to guide children toward understanding that messing with the pretty kitty or funny puppy can have consequences.
Safety Around Pets
Even the most well-mannered dog or cat can be easily spooked by an overly-enthusiastic youngster invading its space, even if the child is family. Because of this, it’s important to teach children how to interact with pets, and that gentleness, compassion, and a certain degree of caution are vitally important when it comes to handling animals.
Here are a few basic safety tips to remember:
The Warning Signs Before a Bite
Most animals do not attack without first showing warning signs that signal they are stressed. While not all animals show discomfort in the same way, there are some basic signals you can watch for to know when an animal needs space.
Cats will typically leave the room if they are uncomfortable around a child (and are not trapped in the child’s arms). Anytime a cat moves away from a child, you should remind the youngster that the cat is done playing, and should be left alone.
Birds, reptiles and small animals typically give less warning before biting, so should handled with caution and under close adult supervision.
The Importance of Sanitation
Life is full of germs, and pets and kids are no exception. Keep these tips in mind when it comes to keeping your kids (and pets) safe:
Children that grow up with pets often benefit socially, emotionally and cognitively. But for these benefits to play out, it is important to make sure that the interactions between pets and kids are positive. By supervising playtime carefully and enforcing proper sanitation, both your kids and your pets can thrive for years to come.
If you have any other questions about safety when it comes to kids and pets, or if you need to bring your pet current on his or her vaccinations and parasite preventatives, please give us a call.
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!