Bringing a dog into your family can be a great way to teach children how to care for others and develop a sense of responsibility. Kids, however, don’t always know how to behave around animals. Which means you’ll need to teach them how to be polite with their canine. To help get you on the right track, we’ve spoken to our pet health expert to discover their tips on how to keep your child and dog safe together.

Let sleeping dogs lie

The old saying is true, so make sure to teach your child not to disturb their furry friend whilst they’re taking a nap! Instead, teach kids to get used to calling your dog to come to them rather than approaching the pup themselves. A dog also shouldn’t be disturbed if they’re:

How to keep your child and dog safe together
  • Eating
  • Playing with their favourite toy
  • Feeling unwell
  • Blind, deaf or both.

Curb your enthusiasm

Kids can get excitable about a great many things in life! Sometimes, however, this might be inappropriate around dogs, as canines can’t always interpret a child’s body language or shouting. An excited child can also encourage puppies and dogs to play with them, so supervision can be key to making sure things don’t become too boisterous!


Apart from supervising play between your child and dog, it’s important not to leave them alone together when you’re not in the room, or your attention is elsewhere. Use baby gates and playpens to keep them separated when required. This can also help prevent your dog from getting their mouth around your child’s toys! It might also be a good idea to keep a ‘quiet space’, that’s off limits to kids, for your dog to retreat to when they need time out from all the attention!  

How to keep your child and dog safe together

Stop pulling my leg

Children can be good at getting up close and personal, often not having quite as much awareness of personal space as adults. Having a child constantly poking, prodding and getting in your face can be pretty annoying, and your dog won’t feel any different about it! To prevent your furry friend from getting upset, show your child how to be polite around dogs, so they know not to tug and pull at them.

In the great outdoors

It’s important that kids know how to approach the dogs they’ll meet out and about, as they might not be as tolerant as their own furry friend! Teach them not to run straight up to dogs and to ask the owner’s permission before petting them. Also, children can’t be legally responsible for a dog outside their home until they are at least ten years of age. Having a dog can be a great way to get your child outside on walks, but make sure they’re supervised until they’re old enough!

How to keep your child and dog safe together

Having both a dog and a child requires a great amount of responsibility, but you should make sure not to forget to have fun on your adventures along the way! If you would like to know more about keeping your child and dog safe, or have any concerns, the best thing to do is to speak to your vet for more information.   

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