While most kids love animals, not all animals love kids. Because of this, it’s important that you teach your children how to be safe around dogs in all situations in life.
To help you in doing this, here are three things you should teach your kids about interacting with dogs in order to keep them safe and healthy.
Don’t Approach Unfamiliar Dogs
One of the first and most important things you should teach your kids about interacting with dogs is to never approach a dog that they don’t know. If your child doesn’t already have a relationship with the dog they see, they shouldn’t just go up to it and expect it to be friendly.
As a good rule of thumb, Parents.com recommends that you teach your kids to always ask permission before they pet any dog they see that they don’t know. Not only should they check in with you beforehand, but they should also ask the owner of the dog if they can pet it before they approach the dog at all. By standing back and away from the dog until they get permission to pet it, you’ll be able to keep your child from getting in a dangerous situation where they could get bit or attacked.
Whether your child is interacting with a dog they’re familiar with or a dog that is new to them, your child should always maintain certain boundaries when interacting with any dog.
According to ASPCA, some of these boundaries should include respecting the dog’s body, knowing what areas are safe for them to pet, and leaving their toys or food alone. If these boundaries are crossed, there’s a chance that the dog could injure your child, whether intentionally or unintentionally. But if your child is able to know and maintain these boundaries with any dog they’re interacting with, they have a much better chance of always having positive interactions where both your child and the dog are happy.
What To Do Around A Threatening Dog
Even if your child is acting as you’ve taught him or her when around a dog, they could still get in a situation with a dog where they could be in some sort of danger.
To prepare your child for a situation like this, you should go over what your child should do if they are ever around a threatening dog. As part of this, Evonne Woloshyn, a contributor to AHC Health ENews, shares that you should teach your child to move slowly, cautiously, and in a non-threatening way. And if your child does get knocked down by a dog, teach them to curl up in a ball and put their hands over their eyes and face until help arrives.
To help your children stay safe around dogs, consider teaching them the above-mentioned skills.