The Best Ways To Help Your Kids And A New Pet Get Along

July 12, 2023

 Bringing a new pet home is a super exciting time, whether you’re an adult or a child! And because of that, it’s easy to make a mistake when it comes to settling in as a whole family. Kids especially can want to spend all their time with the new cat or dog, exhausting and annoying them, even if they just want to cuddle and play! And while it happens to a lot of families, it’s best to lay down some rules from the moment you secure your new pet. This way you’ll encourage a proper bond between them and your children without much of a problem. 

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Run Constructive Play Times

Constructive play times are supervised play times! If the kids want to play with your new pet, make sure you’re watching and observing the whole time. Teach your kids signs that your pet isn’t quite feeling up to playing, or if they’re getting overstimulated and need a break from fetch or tug of war. This way no one gets their fingers nipped, no one gets their ears or tail pulled, and everyone has a good time through active bonding! 

Let Them Give Treats

Teaching your child the best way to approach a dog or cat is part of giving treats. Flat hands, wait for your pet to sit, make sure they take it gently, and don’t be afraid of their teeth. Make sure they only give treats in healthy amounts; it’s fine to hand over a pet supplement once a day but treats are meant for special occasions only! And be sure to let your child use treats to reinforce the way you’re training your pet on a regular basis. This way your pet is going to see them as part of the authority in the house. 

Enforce Boundaries

If your pet goes somewhere private, like their bed, crate, or they climb up onto high furniture, it means they need to be left alone. Getting the kids to understand that might be hard, but it’s crucial for ensuring happiness in your home. You know the kids wouldn’t want their new cat or dog to feel uncomfortable, so remind them that spatial boundaries need respecting. If the puppy or kitten wants to continue playing, they’ll come to you, not the other way around! 

Show Your Kids How to Pet Gently

Petting gently, ensuring there’s no pulling or prodding, nor any clawing or thumping, will help your kids and their pet get along more than anything else. Petting is supposed to be a nice thing for everyone involved, and sometimes the right method for it needs to be demonstrated! Above all, remind your little ones that being gentle is the best way to make friends with an animal, as it helps a pet to see them as a friendly and safe person to be around. 

It’s often hard to get kids and pets to bond well. However, there’s a lot you can teach them to smooth things along! 

*contributed post*

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