Getting a new pet can be an exciting time for the whole family. Whether it’s a cat, dog or hamster, children love gaining a new family member. But introducing your child to the new pet can be a challenge. It’s important to educate yourself on the best way to bring a new animal into the family–for both your child and the pets.
Always Be Around
When first introducing a new pet into the family, you should be present any time your child is around the dog, cat, etc. While it’s OK to stay in the background, you should be able to observe what’s going on at all times.
Teach Personal Space
It’s important that your child is respectful of your pet’s personal space. Even the nicest animal can snap when it feels threatened. Your child should know to never bother your pet when he or she is eating, chewing a bone, etc. Also, let your child know what signs of aggression look like.
Lead By Example
One of the best ways your child can learn how to treat animals is by seeing what you do. Show compassion and patience with your new pet and your child will follow. This is also a great way for your child to learn how to properly care for an animal.
Adopt Don’t Shop
While that perfect cute puppy or kitten may be tempting, remember there are more animals in shelters than you could even imagine. Consider taking your child to the local animal shelter or rescue group facility so you can save a life together. Not only is this a great thing to do for your pet, but it’s a great lesson for your child as well.
Continue to check in on the Medical City Children’s Urgent Care blog for more kid-friendly activities, healthy living tips and medical information. We love to make your life as a parent as easy as possible!
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.