By Stephanie Maglio
Here are some helpful tips that will keep kids safe and help both your family and your new pet adjust:
- Take your pet for a checkup as soon as possible. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a breeder, shelter, or pet store should allow you to have an animal examined and returned within an agreed-upon time if it’s unhealthy. Read the fine print on any pet-purchase contracts to make sure.
- Teach kids how to handle and pick up pets — to never squeeze them too tight, drop them, fall on them, or pick them up too fast.
- Teach kids never to tease animals or pull their tails or ears.
- Teach kids never to bother animals while they’re eating, sleeping, or tending to their young.
- Teach kids never to take a toy or bone away from a dog.
- Teach kids never to pet or try to play with an animal they don’t know, even if it’s someone’s family pet.
- Closely supervise pets and kids. Never leave an infant or toddler alone with a pet.
- Don’t put pets into scary situations. For example, if you know your cat gets nervous around too many people, then put the kitty in an- other room during parties.
- Teach kids to wash their hands with soap and water after handling pets.
- Don’t keep undomesticated animals as house pets.
Pet ownership has many benefits and doing a little research before taking the plunge will help make your new pet a welcome addition to the family.