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Safety Tips for Homes with Kids and Pets

When your pets and children cohabitate, your biggest concern is keeping all of them safe. If you teach your kids how to behave around pets from an early age, you greatly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Here are some important safety tips to follow if both kids and pets live in your household.

Respect the Pet’s Space

One of the most valuable lessons a child can learn is that pets and animals deserve the same respect humans do. You can teach your child to respect the pet’s space and not rush up to the pet, try to pick it up, grab at it, or make sudden movements or loud noises. You should also teach your child that there are certain times a pet should never be disturbed, such as when it is sleeping, eating, or chewing on a toy. Crate training your pet can also be helpful for providing your pet with a safe space that your child knows is off-limits. 

Be Careful When Petting and Grooming

Make sure your child is very gentle with your pets. Teach him or her to use a flat palm to stroke a pet on the back, and avoid the tail, feet, ears, and rear of the pet. Your child should never approach a pet from behind or sneak up on it. Your child also shouldn’t pull or tug at the pet, pull its tail or ears, or grab its legs or paws.

Play Together Safely

Another valuable lesson is teaching children and pets to play together safely. Don’t let a young child play tug of war with a dog, especially if the dog is a new pet, is excitable or young, or is much larger than your child. Explain to your child that he or she should never try to take a toy from the pet’s mouth.

If your pet is injured while playing with your children, an emergency veterinary clinic near you can evaluate the injury and make sure your pet is safe and healthy.

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