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Helping Your Child Interact With Fido

Dogs are great for children in many ways. Fido can be a great playmate and cuddle buddy, and he’s often quite protective about his human pals. However, dogs and children can easily misread each other. It’s important to teach your child good manners, both for petiquette and safety. Here, a Sugar Land, TX vet discusses teaching children how to interact with Fido.

Play Nice

Young children can be unintentionally rough with dogs. Toddlers in particular are often clumsy, and can trip over or fall on top of a pet. While some larger dogs may barely bat an eye at this sort of roughhousing, others will not be happy about it. Plus, smaller dogs can be seriously injured. Loud noises also make dogs uneasy, as can being awakened unexpectedly. Supervise all interactions closely. Also, make sure your child knows not to pull your canine pal’s tail or ears, or chase him around.

Safety

Safety should always come first. One of the best things you can do to keep your child safe around dogs is to teach them a bit about Fido’s body language. If a dog growls, backs off, tucks his tail, and/or bares his teeth, it’s feeling scared and/or threatened, and may bite.

Boundaries

Dogs can get a bit protective about their toys and food dishes. Fido’s things should be off-limit to your child.

Hugging

Hugs are one area where things can get confusing between man and his best friend. When people hug one another, it’s typically a show of affection. With dogs, however, hugs are a sign of dominance. Fido may get confused and frightened by a child’s hugs, and could react defensively. Teach your little one knows never to pet or cuddle a strange dog.

Supervised Treats

Teach your youngster not to feed the dog without getting permission first. Your child could accidentally give Fido something that isn’t safe for him. While some foods may only give your pet an upset stomach, others, such as grapes, can cause organ failure, even if only a tiny amount is ingested.

Toys

Choking hazards are a huge safety concern with both children and pets. Many small toy pieces are choking hazards to dogs. Make sure your children keep their toys away from Fido!

Please contact us, your Sugar Land, TX vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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