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Kids & Pets – Creating A Lasting Relationship (Part 1)

By Nandhini Devi

'Kids and Pets' – a great combination to keep your hands full at home! However, while having both at home is quite an exciting prospect, taking care about the hygiene factor and kids-pets safety aspect is something that cannot be overlooked. Knowledge about kids-pets relationship is a must-know to anyone who is considering buying a pet when there is a child at home. It is also important for a family who is going to have a baby, while they already have a pet at home.

Every one knows that having a pet at home allows your child to get more responsible. He learns what compassion is and in the meantime find a loyal friend in his pet. But what matters most is the kids-pets safety aspect. The below mentioned tips come in handy when you are planning to buy a pet for your child.

1. First of all, assess your child's behavior and check his interest in buying a pet. Every child usually is very excited about having a pet a home. So, they seldom refuse. However, it is important that you speak to your child about the responsibilities that come along with the pet. Also speak to him about the importance of kids-pets relationship.

2. Teach the child that the most important thing is to be gentle with the pet. Caution him that when the pet is not in a good mood, it is best to leave it alone. A good sign of this is if the pet is growling or hissing. At the same time, tell him not to restrain the pet, when it approaches him to play.

3. Tell the child not to pull the pet's tail, feet or ear. He should avoid petting the face and head area. Its better to stroke the pet gently on the sides or neck area. On the whole he should not involve in any rough play with the pet. The safety aspect is a major point that has to be noted in a kids-pets relationship.

4. Make sure that your pet is treated like a family member. For example, do not leave the dog chained outside throughout the day. They get more agitated this way.

5. Explain to the child that he should not scream or behave aggressively in the presence of the pet. This may startle the pet and he might bite or attack the child.

6. If you have a toddler, read him books that speak about animal's feelings. This way he'll learn to be gentle with the pet. Its always good to keep away the pet's dishes from the child. Remember to wash the child after he has finished playing with his pet.

7. Always supervise when the kid and pet are together. Never leave the child alone with the pet, specially if he is younger than 5 years. Keeping an eye on the child or pet when they are playing helps you keep a note about any unusual behavior. This a key factor in nurturing a healthy kids-pets relationship.

8. If you have a garden or yard, designate a separate area where the kids and pets can play. This way they'll keep out of places that they are not supposed to be in.

9. Keep a check on the pet's immunizations. They must be up-to-date. The pet should be well-groomed too, so putting it into an obedience class is a good idea.

10. Put a tag or microchip with complete contact information, so that you can be contacted in case the pet is lost. This would ensure that the pet is returned to you and keep your child happy, in case he is too attached to the pet.

The safety of both kids and pets cannot be overlooked. The above kids-pets relationship tips are useful guidelines to parents who are presenting a pet to their child. So, are you now willing to buy a pet for your child? In case, you already have a pet and are looking for easy ways to introduce your soon-to-come child to the pet.

Read more about: pets pet care safety measures
Story first published: Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 16:41 [IST]
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