This article is going to be all about your children and the things you need to know before you bring an animal into your household and what you can do to make your children and pets feel comfortable with each other.
Before you even think about adding an animal to your household, you need to evaluate the ages and maturity of your children as well as the adults. If you have very young children, you should not be looking to adopt an older dog that will want peace and quiet. Also, if you are an older adult, you do not want to get a puppy or kitten because of all the time it will be necessary to spend training and exercising her. Look closely at the people in your family and make a smart decision.
Households with children: What you should be thinking about is the behavior and specific ages of your children. Are they still in the stages of learning to walk? Will they be tempted to pull the tail of an animal? Will they be hanging on the animal? Will they be teasing the animal?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you need to make sure the animal you choose will be accepting of that behavior. Get an animal that is calm and laid-back, not one that is aggressive or dominant in nature. If you are planning on adopting an animal from a local shelter, make sure the one you pick hasn’t been abused by children in her past. This can make her very distrustful of any children and she would not fit well in your household.
Household without children: What you should be thinking about is your attitude as well as anyone else living there. Who will be there during the day? How much time do you have to spend with your new animal?
If there isn’t going to be anyone home and you don’t think much time will be spent devoted to training and caring for your animal, please do not get one. Animals, just like people, have feelings. If she is left alone all day long and shown no affection when people are around…..she may become depressed and her behavior will start to decline rapidly.
If you have decided to bring home a puppy or kitten please have a talk with your children beforehand. Explain to them what the rules are (don’t pull puppy’s tail, don’t step on kitty) and how important it is that they follow them at all times!
You also need to supervise your children when they are playing with the new arrival…..if she shows any signs of aggression, remove your children from that environment and call a professional trainer at once! If your pet is allowed to show aggression toward you or your children, she will think it’s ok to bite and this could lead to an attack.
If you are watching your children play with your pet, and you can tell she is getting a little agitated, gently coach your kids to focus on some other activity. This will allow your animal to relax and be left alone.
The most important things are: to make sure you are always supervising your pet when she is around your children and that your children know the rules. Think about how you would feel if you were the pet and you constantly had a child pulling your tail? You wouldn’t like it, so give your pet some respect, protection, and understanding.
You can’t help it if your child accidentally falls onto your animal, but you can train your pet to be tolerant of this. She is allowed to be hurt but she is not allowed to act aggressive in any way, NO MATTER WHAT! If you have an animal who displays aggressive behavior, call a professional trainer immediately – or risk the possibility of your animal attacking.