Keep the Kids Safe Around Pets

Safety Tips

A screaming newborn in the house, a toddler who is fascinated with the cat’s tail or an unassuming water bowl in the kitchen all have the potential to pose safety hazards for children.

We want to make sure Spot the dog and Whiskers the cat get along with your kids this summer whether vacationing together or spending long hot afternoons indoors.

  • Regular checkups. Take your pets to the veterinarian every year to make sure they’re in good health and up to date on the necessary vaccinations. Spaying or neutering your pet often makes an animal calmer and less likely to bite, according to the Humane Society.
  • Make a pet area. Find a spot, like the laundry room, kitchen or spare bedroom, where your pets can spend time when the kids need their space (and vice versa!). Fill the room with toys, water, food and a place to rest so they will be comfortable, entertained and not try to escape.
  • Think about a trainer. If your dog is acting out, especially before or after a new baby comes to the house, consider obedience classes or hiring a trainer to come to your home to take care of any potentially hazardous behavior that might be developing.
  • Beware of crib climbing. We all know that cats are curious, and a crib may be too much for them to resist. Only allow your cat inside the nursery when you’re there to supervise. Always keep the cat out when the baby’s sleeping since cats like to cuddle, which could make it difficult for the baby to breathe if they get too close.
  • Move the box. Kids are curious too, so once you’re kids are crawling and walking, the litter box needs to be out of their reach.
  • Hidden dangers. Children could choke on large pieces of dog food if they put them in their mouth, and the water dish is actually a drowning hazard. To remove these risks, keep pet food and water in a closed off room, in the garage or outside.  You can also put up safety gates in strategic locations to keep kids away from food and water (and litter boxes.) Just make sure it has openings wide enough for your pet to come and go but small enough so kids can’t get squeeze through or become trapped.
  • Pet door. If you have a pet door, it’s probably best to keep it locked or block the children’s access for now. A crawler or small walker could easily get outside.
  • Watch out for the pet next door. Even if your kids and pets are best friends, other people’s pets may not love them so much. Since it’s common for dogs to tag along on picnics and summer gatherings, always be on the look-out for nipping, pawing, growling, raised hair, pinned back ears and downward-pointing tails.

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