There is a popular proverb “Dogs are man’s best friend”. But the question is whether they are a kid’s friend too. For some children, dogs are their favourite playmate and a part of their big, fat family. While dogs have a big role to play in a kid’s life the reality is that they also pose a serious threat to them. It has been estimated that approximately 4,5,00,000 people suffer from dog bites each year and the startling thing is that half of them are children.
It has also been found that little boys between five to nine years of age are the highest to be bitten by a dog. The injuries suffered by them are also quite serious that require immediate medical attention. Hence, it is very important to set a demarcation line between kids and dogs so that there is a bare minimal chance of a mishap. Let us look at some of the ways to achieve this feat:
Be Extremely Careful While Selecting The Dog Breeds
The very first thing that you need to do is to research on different dog breeds and their sizes so that you have the adequate information with you before selecting the right dog for your family. It is also very important to consider the space required by the furry pal, exercise, attention and grooming. Before deciding to get the furry pal spend some time with him. Do take your kids along so that both of them get acquainted with each other before bringing him home. If you have a toddler in the house, it is very important to supervise the activities of the doggy and the baby when both of them are together.
Never Leave The Kids Alone With The Doggy
Never allow a young kid to walk the furry pal alone. In case, the doggy pulls the leash, the kid can fall down and get hurt or the dog can get loose thereby putting its safety at risk. Hence, watch the kids as they will not be able to interpret the doggy’s behaviour and body language to know when the play is getting out of hand or that the doggy does not want to be bothered. For dogs under five years of age, it is important to supervise the doggy irrespective of the size as even smaller dogs can snatch or knock down the kid even if he is not being aggressive so be extremely vigilant.
Train The Dog
After getting the furry pal home, it is important to start the training and setting boundaries. As an animal species dogs do not know how to respond to children, hence, the bite occurs. Hence, always train the doggy and socialise him to interact safely with others. Some of the things that you can do with your furry pal include:
Taking him to obedience classes or a professional dog trainer to learn basic commands like stay, sit and down. If you have older children also involve them in the training, but do supervise them. If the doggy becomes aggressive, seek help from a professional dog trainer or veterinarian.