Kids, especially the toddlers, are always fascinated with pets. But, bringing home a new pet can be a concern. It isn’t an issue only for your kids, but it can also be a problem for the pet too - to get acclimatized to the new surroundings. What are the precautions you need to take if you want to help your kids develop a strong bond with your new dog, cat or other pet? Learn more about the top five tips for introducing a new pet to your kids in this article.
1. Let the pet make the first move
What this means is to let the pet itself initially come towards the child. This would be indeed less stressful for the animal, because it is choosing to explore on its own, rather than having an intimidating, unknown person coming close to it. It will also let the animal scale down on its aggressive behavior. As your pet approaches your child, they must remember to be very gentle with the animal, both through body language and tone of voice.
2. Learn the pet’s body language
Yes, this is the most important aspect of pet training for your kids. Teach them to understand the behaviors and warning signs that may show up in an aggressive animal. These signs, in most cases, are indicative of an impending negative response. Some of these signs are gritted teeth, vibrant and faster tail movements, or a turned head, a sharp posture that looks like a predatory strike, or a vicious snarl. If your kids are aware of these signs, they will understand the best times to back up and give the animal space, and they’ll also understand when it’s okay to be more playful.
3. Patience is the key to a long-lasting relationship
Patience is certainly among the most important factor. A young newborn pet will not grow fond of you overnight because they are under stress from being relocated into new surroundings, without their parents. Be patient and give your pet time to settle down and get used to their new environment. On average, a pet such as a cat or a dog can easily take 10 to 12 weeks to become comfortable in their new home. We would recommend training your kids to take extra care during this period.
4. Be Responsible
Constant love and care are major parts of the responsibility of pet ownership, and that is precisely what you need to teach to your children. Playing with pets should not be the only goal for your children. Feeding, walking, and cleaning up after it are some of the responsibilities your kids can learn to manage. Once they begin performing these tasks on a daily basis (as appropriate), they will truly learn what it means to care of another being rather than only thinking of themselves. This will give them a proper idea of how to love the ones who you care for!
5. Leave the pets on their own
As humans, this is what we mean when we ask someone to “give me some space.” You, or more precisely, your kids should understand that animals also need their own space and alone time. Make your kids understand that the pets have their own special moments that they want to spend on their own. When your pet moves on to its own space, you need to understand that it needs to spend time with itself. Respecting this will help it bond better with you. Take care of its feelings as you would take care of yours – this is what your kids need to learn. This behavior is typically seen more in most cats than it is in dogs. Dog breeds typically have a varying need of dependency on their owners. Some breeds might develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long of a period, while other dog breeds are much more independent and prefer it that way.
Welcoming a new member to the family can always be a fun and exciting experience, but it can also come with some nerves and challenges. You can use this experience as an excellent opportunity to teach your kids the importance of sharing and caring for another being. It’s important to understand that adapting to your pet and having your pet adapt to the new environment is not an overnight process. However, by being patient and going through careful steps to develop the perfect bond, you’ll never regret the decision!
Written by Emily Green for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.