Next in our Holiday Safety Tips for Pets series, TJ has some ideas to help kids interact with your pets in a way that's fun for everyone!
Kids get extra excited around the holidays, and if they don’t have pets at home, or haven't learned how to properly interact with animals, even good intentions could lead to a lot of stress for your pet, or worse - a bite for the kid.
Keep everyone safe by reminding your guests' children not to chase or grab your pets. Talk to them right away when they arrive, to explain what your pet likes and doesn't like, and that loud noises or fast movements can be scary for them.
Show the kids how to sit calmly and quietly, and let the animal approach them. Don't let them corner your pets or get their faces too close to them.
Maybe ask if the children would like to “help train” your dog, by asking them to sit or do tricks for a treat.
Throwing a toy can be fun, but if your dog doesn't "drop it" on command, make sure everyone knows safe methods of getting the toy away from him when he brings it back.
If the environment becomes too stressful for your pet, or you're unable to monitor their interactions, it’s best to take them into their quiet space for some alone time, away from the guests and excitement.