Teaching children how to care for a dog safely is important to maintaining a healthy relationship between dog and family. Coexistence between pets and children is a challenge that, although beautiful, must respect several premises.
The first thing to keep in mind is that patience and perseverance are key to helping children learn these important skills. And also so that the dog adjusts to the rules of the house.
Neither of them, child and dog, are prepared, per se, to carry out this relationship alone, without the accompaniment of an adult. Don't forget that children should always be supervised by an adult when they are with the dog. This will keep the dog and child contained and getting along well. Here, tips to teach children how to care for a dog safely.
First of all, children must be taught to respect the dog's space and moments: they must understand that dogs need their own space and that they should not touch, pet or hug them when, for example, they are eating or resting.
The day the animal arrives at the home, the kids can be asked to sit on the floor and let the puppy approach them first. If you are going to lift it, help them do it well, placing an open hand under the belly and holding the hindquarters with the other hand. It is important that the dog feels safe at all times and does not have feelings of distrust with any member of the family.
As the children are likely to be very excited about the dog's arrival, we will have to be careful not to hug them too tightly. The guiding motto should be: little by little, step by step, and no sudden movements or shouts.
Another very important point from the arrival of the pet to the house is to teach children to read its signals: children must learn to recognize when the dog feels uncomfortable or scared. Actions such as growling, barking, or flicking the tail can indicate how a dog is feeling.
The relationship between dogs and children facilitates the acquisition of skills for both.
Playing safely is also a factor to take into account. Games, such as chasing the dog or pulling its tail or ears, can make the animal feel uncomfortable or scared and want to walk away. Therefore, activities must be proposed that are pleasant for both.
Last but not least, give responsibilities to children who are also part of caring for the animal. Depending on the age of each child, they can feed him, take him for a walk, brush his hair, bathe him, or simply accompany him to a visit to the vet. These tasks help children be responsible with the dog and feel an active part of its care.