Animal Friends Blog
Bringing a new pet home can be such an exciting time for everyone, but it can be a stressful period for cats and dogs as they embark on a new journey. To reduce your new pet’s anxiety, make sure they’re properly introduced to all members of the family so that the transition into their new home can go as smoothly as possible.
Here are some things to remember when introducing a new pet to children.
First impressions are important
Your new pet might have lived with children before, and your child might have previously shared their home with a cat or dog but it’s important to start from scratch. This is because your new pet won’t know your child and their behaviour and vice versa. They’ll need time to get used to each other and this should never be rushed as they will adjust at their own time.
Discussing the introduction with your son or daughter will help them understand to behave around their new friend. This conservation will vary depending on the age of the child, and what examples they’ll understand.
Repetition is key to good behaviour
Your child and new pet are almost guaranteed to misbehave as they learn the appropriate behaviour around each other but be sure to reinforce the rules. Ensuring both are rewarded for good behaviour around the home will help both parties understand how to respect each other which can help build a positive relationship.
Never leave a child and pet unattended
Make sure you never leave a child and pet unattended, as you’ll need to be ready to intervene if either start to become uncomfortable with the situation. Being present will also allow you to encourage the correct behaviour while looking out for anything that needs to be worked on.
Set some rules for everyone
Kids and pets will need rules to live by now that they’re living together. So, making sure your pet knows where they’re allowed to eat and that your child knows not to disturb a cat or dog when there’s food involved. Also consider things that might cause frustration between the new roomies, like a puppy mistaking a child’s toy as their own or kids teasing the new pet with food and eliminate these behaviours if possible.
Make things fun, too
If you’re constantly correcting behaviours, this could harm the relationship between your child and their new friend so be sure you don’t shout or punish either party. Providing treats for good behaviour can help a cat or dog learn while letting your child give a yummy treat or help take care of your new pet can help strengthen the bond between them.
If you have time before welcoming your new pet home why not look into some books or other handy material that can help you all learn about your cat or dog and how to behave around them. It’s never too soon to start preparing for a new pet.
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