Westbury Animal Hospital
713.723.3666 · 4917 S. Willow Dr. Houston, Texas 77035 

Annie's Shenanigans

National Animal Safety and Protection Month

Westbury Animal Hospital - Monday, October 01, 2018


October is National Animal Safety and Protection Month. We often think about protecting our kids from our pets, but what about the other side of the coin? How do we protect our pets from children? It is important to teach our kids the proper way to approach and interact with animals to prevent unintentional harm and consequences. Pets can be a great resource to provide comfort and to foster compassion, respect, and understanding through learning to care for different creatures. 

Give them Responsibilities

Engaging children in the care of their pet is a great way to get them interested and feel a part of the team. Animals will also enjoy this interaction if done with supervision. For older kids, you can teach them how to feed and keep water bowls full. Caution them in proper feeding techniques that do not involve teasing an animal or coming between an animal and their food. For younger kids, show them how to brush gently their fur using a soft brush. This can also reinforce regular human hygiene etiquette. 

Ask Permission

Most kids that have pets in their home develop a sense of comfort and may not have the caution needed when approaching strange animals. Instruct kids to always ask permission before approaching a new animal. Most importantly, do not trust an animal you do not know even if the owner encourages your kids to greet them. 

Set a Great Example

This is one of the most important guidelines to follow. Kids need to know that animals deserve respect and that we are responsible for their care. Speak to your animals only in a tone you would like for them to repeat. This can be a great lesson in compassion.

Show your child where the best place to pet animals

Avoiding the obvious places such as poking the eyes or grabbing tails, we also need to teach children when not to pet or when our pets need their own space. This includes feeding, using the bathroom, and watching closely for those subtle body signals that a pet may be stressed or upset. 

If you have a pet that you feel may not be good around your children please seek advice from your veterinarian on behavior consultation. 


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