Tips For Keeping Children Safe Around Dogs
There’s nothing cuter than a child and their furry best friend. However, both children and dogs need to learn how to interact with one another. Kids can play too rough with dogs, and dogs may think the kids are puppies. Anything can happen without proper supervision. So, let’s go over some tips for keeping children safe around dogs.
Tips For Keeping Children Safe Around Dogs
Keeping your dog and child safe around each other while teaching them to be friendly is easier than it seems. If they didn’t grow up together, they both have to learn how to respect one another.
Here are some of our best tips for keeping children safe around dogs.
Give Your Dog And Children Their Own Space
One of the best things you can do is allow your children and your dog space of their own. For example, your dog should have a crate or bed that it can retreat to when they need some alone time. Likewise, your children shouldn’t go near your dog when lounging in their crates or beds.
In addition, if your dog is asleep, you’ll need to teach your children not to wake the dog up on purpose. Kids can be loud when playing, so the dog might wake up, but you don’t want the kids to go over to the dog and shake them away.
Dogs can get deep into sleep, and if they’re startled awake, they might growl or snap at the kids. So, when your pup is in its spot, make sure the kids know that the dog needs some alone time.
Teach Your Kids To Respect Your Dog’s Boundaries And Vice Versa
In addition to having their own space, your dog will need some alone time when they’re not in bed. For instance, when they’re eating.
It’s an instinct for dogs to gobble their food quickly if their littermates eat it all. So even if you only have one dog in the house, your dog might still try to eat their food hastily.
So, if you or your child tries to disturb the dog while they’re eating, then the dog might assume they’re trying to steal the food. This could result in your dog growling, barking, or snapping at the child.
Overall, teach your kids to know when to leave the dog alone.
On the other hand, you’ll need to teach the dog the same thing. For example, when children eat at the table, they might be messy, accidentally dropping crumbs on the floor. Not to mention that some kids will purposefully feed the dog human food.
If your kids feed the dog from the table, this will ultimately result in your dog begging at every meal. So, you’ll need to teach your kids not to feed the dog food that’s not their own.
Also, you’ll need to teach your dog that they are not allowed in the kitchen or the dining room during mealtime when the family eats.
It’s all about setting boundaries. Once those are set, the children and the dog will be able to give each other the space they need.
Understand Dog Body Language
If you have a dog, you certainly know a little body language that your doggo shows. For example, when they play bow (lying down with their tail and rear up in the air), they want to play.
On the other hand, you know that if their tail is in between their legs, then that means your dog is nervous or uncomfortable.
Overall, your dog is relaxed when they show the following body language:
- Loose muscles
- Tails and ears are in their normal position
- Round eyes (no white showing)
- Tongues lolling out of their mouth
When your dog is nervous, worried, or upset, then they might do the following:
- Have a stiff body
- Look tense with wide eyes
- Ears are upright or pinned back on their head
- The tail is between their legs
Of course, you can quickly tell if your dog is unhappy if they growl, snarl, bark, or snap.
Teach your kids to recognize this body language. For example, if the dog is play bowing, then your kid knows it’s safe to play with the dog. On the other hand, if the dog has its ears pinned back, your children can recognize that the dog doesn’t want to be touched or play.
Always Supervise The Kids And Dog Together
Whether they’re playing together inside or outside, you’ll need to supervise them. Even if the children and the dog get along well, anything can happen.
Sometimes, a child might misread the dog’s body language, or sometimes the dog might get carried away and play too rough.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you keep an eye on the dogs and children playing with each other.
Dogs And Kids Can Be Best Friends
Over time, your children and dog will become best friends. They’ll learn to get along and give each other space. First, however, it’s something that both the children and the dog needs to know.