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A Guide to Safety for Kids and Dogs


Almost all of us would agree that it would be nice for our children to grow up with a dog. Kids and dogs are wonderful, almost an American tradition. If you're thinking of getting a dog for the children or already have one, here are some guidelines: Consider postponing the purchase of a dog, especially a large one, until your children are at least six years old.

Be calm around canines. No jumping, screaming, or, of course, yanking tails, pulling fur, or poking eyes.

Hugs or kisses. If the dog doesn't know the child be cautious. They do like being gently stroked on the back or the side. One spot to avoid: The top of the head - even a small hand looming above can feel threatening to a dog.

Never sneak up on a pup. Approach from the side.

Leave sleeping (or eating) dogs alone. They may snap if bothered.


Ask the owner before petting a dog you don't know. If he says it's okay, have your child hand you anything she might be holding (especially if it's edible!). Then, if the dog is calm, tell her to make a fist, palm down (so her fingers are out of the way if the dog nips). If the dog comes forward, tail wagging, it's okay to pet it.

Rene 8weeks
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