Like most of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been tucked away in our individual homes. The kids are being homeschooled while mom and dad work from the house, and then there’s Fido. There may be tension, changes in behavior, and difficulties that arise from having kids and dogs in small spaces, without some solutions.
This is where the team at BEEVET Animal Hospital comes in! We can help you navigate some of these issues with some helpful suggestions on how to keep the peace and keep kids and dogs safe and happy.
5 Tips to Keep Kids and Dogs Safe
If there has been a disruption in the usual routine, everyone, including your pet, can be negatively affected. Without an understanding of the situation and remedies to alleviate the stress of change, poor behavior can emerge from your dog or child.
Here are some of our recommendations for creating a safer space for dogs and kids.
- Everyone needs their space. The first thing to recognize is that all family members, including those with paws, need their privacy and space. If your pet cannot get away from the noise and activity of the kids in the home, this sets up an unsafe scenario. Give your pet their own room or quiet place in a cozy crate, so they can snooze and get away from the general chaos. Be sure children understand they are not allowed in the crate.
- Keep them busy. Bored children and dogs have a way of getting into things they shouldn’t. It can also result in them making up games to play that taunt the four-legged family member. When your dog isn’t occupied, they may also display behaviors that can become harmful around children. Plan activities where they can play together, like fetch or running around the backyard, but maintain supervision. When they are done, give each of them something they can do on their own, like treat puzzles for dogs and arts and crafts for kiddos.
- Redirect aggravating behavior from your child. Let’s face it, togetherness can be a bit too much when the space is small and the whole family is stuck indoors. Your child may be feeling the brunt of the stress and begin to taunt the family dog. Unfortunately, this can result in a bite or aggression from your pet. To avoid an accident or injury, teach your child to be gentle with the dog. Show them the right way to pet the dog, and never to interact with them when they are sleeping or eating.
- Keep the schedule consistent. When you’re spending more time inside with the family, keep daily routines as consistent as possible. During the summer, when everyone is at home more, routine can go by the wayside. A daily schedule, though, that your pet and child rely upon keeps them feeling safe and secure.
- Address underlying behavioral issues. If your pet has exhibited stress, fear, and/or aggression prior to being cooped up together, then the problem behaviors will likely increase. Without intervention and proper training and socialization, little problems can exacerbate, especially where kids are involved. Speak to your veterinarian for ways to train your pet and dissuade possible fears and anxiety through a behavioral consultation and possible medication.
SOS? Call Us!
If you are still having difficulties in keeping the peace between dogs and kids, then we invite you to call our team. We can provide suggestions on keeping your dog physically and mentally healthy, as well as active with activities and enrichment. There are several ways to encourage good behavior, so don’t hesitate to call us.