There isn't much else as exciting in a child's life as getting a new puppy. My kids had literally begged me for years before we finally took the puppy plunge ourselves. And, while dog ownership can be challenging, we wouldn't change a second of it. Our fur baby has brought so much joy into all our lives! But with that joy comes responsibility. If you're thinking about adding a dog to your family, I bet how to teach kids dog safety has been top of mind for you. That being said, if you don't have owning a dog on your radar, but you're a parent, dog safety is still important!
Related: Finding the perfect dog crate
How to Teach Kids Dog Safety
More and more dogs are out and about in most of the public spaces we frequent. You'll find them in airports, shopping malls, and even public transportation. All kids need to know how to behave safely around dogs because you never know when you'll come across one. Unfortunately, there have been some tragic stories of children being attacked by pets and emotional support animals. So, in the name of safety, Allison Bean, editorial director for The Spruce, has shared 5 essential tips for parents on teaching children how to safely interact with dogs with us!
Five Dog Safety Tips for Kids
Use these simple concepts to teach your kids how to safely interact with dogs.
- Always ask permission. Before approaching a dog, you should ask permission from the owner. If permission is given, approach slowly—never run towards a dog.
- Let the dog get familiar first. Hold out the back of your closed hand towards the dog—but not in its face—and allow it to smell you.
- Never approach a dog that appears anxious or afraid. These dogs may startle easily and lash out. This also applies to a dog that is eating, or a sleeping dog.
- Respect the dog’s personal space. Avoid hugging, as it makes many dogs feel uncomfortable and threatened.
- Never run away from a dog. Doing so could evoke a predatory response even in a friendly-seeming pet. If any dog starts to growl, snarl, or snap, you should stop what you are doing and freeze. Put your hands behind your back and avoid eye contact. Try not to run and instead slowly back away.
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As you can see how to teach kids dog safety is not a difficult task! Simply sit down with your kiddos and teach them these simple rules for safe dog interactions. You'll breath a little easier the next time you have an unexpected canine encounter. Thanks to the tips we shared today your kids will already be well versed in dog safety. Now all you'll have to worry about is training your new addition. That might be slightly harder. Oh the stories could tell. Haha!
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