One topic that tends to garner a lot of discussion and debate is children around pets. By the time a concerned parent comes to an animal communicator, some damage has already been done with a child being bitten or scratched due to a lack of supervision of some kind. Ultimately, it is the pet who will pay the price and wind up being re-homed or in a shelter.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Kids do not need to wind up with bite marks and the pets do not have to be re-homed or surrendered. For this weeks blog, I’d like to share information from my experiences as an Animal Communication Counselor to help you have a better sense of understanding and help your pets have a great relationship with your (or anyone’s) kids. Since the topic of pets and kids is a large one, this blog will be broken down into a series of posts touching on the important elements of not only building a good relationship between kids and pets, but giving a clear picture of what responsible supervision looks like.
The pets relationship with the child begins in utero. A lot of new parents will be concerned about how the pup will react to having a new baby. As long as the new parents can include the pet (this includes cats) in the activities of getting the nursery ready and even telling them about a new being being added to the pack/family unit, that will go a long way to avoiding jealousy or destructive behaviors.
Once the baby is born, again..let your pet be involved with taking care of the baby! If you constantly push the pet away anytime you are doing an activity with your newborn, you are inviting destructive behaviors to happen (chewing on the furniture, peeing/pooping on the carpet, chewing things that belong to the baby..etc). Of course you want to make sure that your pup isn’t getting into the diaper genie or trash can to shred used baby wipes!
As the kids begin to get older, some may feel that chasing the dog (or cat) is a fun activity. For most pets, this isn’t fun at all. Make sure that your pet has their own “Safe Space” that is off limits to people. This is usually a crate or some form of secluded area. As the parent - make sure the kids know and understand that when your pet retreats to their safe space, they need to be left alone.
Remember, our pets understand things on a much deeper level than what we once thought. Talk to them like the intelligent beings that they are to let them know a change is coming (if you are expecting a baby). Really let them be part of the family and part of the process. Pets have been known to be closer and more “clingy” to the mothers when they are pregnant. They get it.
Compassion and Understanding is for all beings.
Family Paws is an excellent resource for families with pets and children of all ages!