Animals, much like smaller children, can behave unpredictably. When socializing your children and unfamiliar animals it’s important to keep a close eye on their interaction. You should also take time to educate your kids and guide them on how to interact with animals to prevent dog bites or animal attacks.
It’s important to be cautious and watchful over your pets when socializing them to recognize uncomfortable behaviors. Accidents can happen due to fear or temperaments.
Here are a few tips to help avoid animal bites or animal attacks, especially if your children are younger than 10 years of age:
- Always supervise. Make sure interactions with your children and unfamiliar animals are closely monitored. Even dogs gentle in nature can become stressed or scared by loud noises, sudden movements and the occasional tantrum. While small dogs may seem better suited for children due to size, make sure to pay attention to ensure the dog does not get hurt during playtime.
- Educate your children. When introducing children to new animals, teach them to watch the dog’s body language. For instance, is the dog stiff? Is its tail tucked between its legs? Is it shaking? Simply watching the dog’s behavior can prevent a bite or attack from occurring.
- Take things slow. When first introducing dogs and children it’s important to take it slow. Allow the dog to become familiar with their scent so they still feel safe. Don’t try to force a meeting if either party is cranky, tired or out of sorts. Place boundaries for the kids so the dog still has the safe place they are able to retreat to.
While most people would believe small dogs and toy breeds are good companions for kids because of their size, they can easily be injured during playtime. Large dogs while they are sturdy and can handle rougher play, could unintentionally hurt a child due to their size. This just highlights a prime rule: always supervise children during playtime with an animal.