Okaw Veterinary Clinic LLC

140 West Sale Street
Tuscola, IL 61953



Top 10 Ways to Keep Children and Pets Safe Together



Children and pets can grow up together and have a great relationship. Teaching kids to learn how to properly greet a dog or cat and when to step in as a parent and avoid risks is essential for a good experience. Too often adults trust the dog or cat will just tolerate excessive petting, reaching in the bed of a pet, or getting close to a dog with food, toy or water. Then tragedy results. Here are some simple rules to follow to keep everyone safe and happy.

  1. Never leave your child under the age of 5 alone with a dog even for a minute. The child goes with you, the dog goes with you, or the dog goes out of the area of the child.

  2. No food of any kind around dogs and kids. Keep the dog at least 8 feet away from the children when there is any kid of food around anywhere.

  3. Do not let your children grab the dog’s toys away from them.

  4. Do not lay your infant on the floor, or bed with the dog nearby – may trigger predation.

  5. Reward your dog for non-fearful, aggressive, or anxious reactions when your children are loud or active.

  6. Do not allow your children to bother a sleeping dog at all.

  7. Have many shelves, perches and places for your cat to be out of reach of loud active children but in the same room.

  8. Play with your cat 10  minutes a day with a feather toy on a stick – small children can do this supervised.

  9. Do not rush up to a cat, pat it hard or bother it when sleeping.

  10. Have the dog eat alone – no people or children around.

So keep your baby gates to separate pets and kids when the pet is getting tired, or stressed. Teach your children considerate manners around all pets. Also learn the body language of stress in both dogs and cats so you can intervene early. If your dog or cat is regularly hissing, growling, or snapping at your youngsters - do not wait to get help. I offer safe pet - safe child consults through my office and I can work with your veterinarian as well.

 - written by Dr. Sally J. Foote

Okaw Veterinary Clinic
140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953
(217) 253-3221


Mon & Fri 8 am - 6 pm
Tues & Wed 8 am - 5 pm
Sat 8 am - noon
Closed Thurs & Sun

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