It is well known that children have a special relationship with pets. Indeed, our faithful four-legged friends have always maintained close relationships with children of all ages.
Dogs, for example, encourage physical activity, since we have to take them out regularly for their needs, but also to let off steam. Also, have you ever noticed when you walk your dog how much easier it is to socialize with other people? Your pet then becomes a socializing agent.
The specialists at the Clinique vétérinaire Beaubien in the greater Montreal area know better than anyone else how to achieve this beautiful relationship between a child and its companion.
Guidelines to Follow for Everything to Go Smoothly
Although the arrival of a new dog or cat at home is a happy event that will fill your youngest ones with happiness, you must keep in mind that you can’t let just anything happen, either on the child’s side or that of the newcomer.
1. Ensuring a Stronger Presence
It is not recommended to leave a young child alone with a dog, at least at the beginning of the adventure. On both sides, it is important to ensure a smooth cohabitation so that the child and his or her pet can understand each other’s behaviour. Parents are responsible for explaining to their children how to behave with their dog or cat.
2. The Soft Method Pays Off
First of all, it is important to remember that you should not force an animal to do anything. For example, when the child wants to approach the dog or cat, he must be calm himself and composed in his approach. Avoid stressing the animal, as it will already be more receptive to the child’s approach. For instance, “a dog that comes forward to sniff the hand will be very happy to be petted. On the contrary, if it completely ignores the gesture or turns away, it is better to leave it alone.”1
3. Respect the Distances with Your Pet
You love your new pet and you think you need to spend all day with it. Watch out! Your dog or cat needs distance and times when he or she wants to be alone: during meals or when he or she is resting apart in the house. These moments are precious for the animal and it is important to know that it needs to be alone on a daily basis.
4. Children’s Room and Dog: Not the Best Idea!
When we are asked if we should let our pet go in the children’s room, we always answer that it is not a good option. Indeed, if the dog has access to your children’s room, it will probably steal toys and make a mess, all the more so if it is a puppy. On the other hand, if it doesn’t have access to this room of the house, you will have more peace of mind when your children are playing in their room. Finally, you will avoid tensions between you, the children and the pet.
5. Don’t Steal My Toys!
If you want to have fun with your pet, the best thing to do is to play with your dog or cat’s toys and not your own. You should explain to your toddler that they should play with a ball or stuffed animals, objects that will be beneficial for your pet’s enjoyment. Don’t play bare-handed with your dog; it could get out of hand quickly. Finally, wait until your pet calms down before stroking it again.
6. The Keystone is to Cohabit with Your Pet
In closing, both the child or teenager and your dog or cat must live together: recognizing the behaviours of his animal while the animal must learn that it cannot do everything. The hierarchical power of the parent(s) will show him certain limits so that the cohabitation is happy and very long.
The Cliniquevétérinaire Beaubien: The Right Choice in Montreal!
In veterinary practice for more than 20 years, our on-site specialists like to answer your questions, give you sound advice and look after the well-being of your pets. The experienced and talented team welcomes you with consideration and respect. Our veterinarians are passionate, they know how to take care of your cat or dog and take the time to do them good. Come and visit professionals who are passionate about your companion.