Getting a new pet is a great time in your life and will create an element of fun and excitement to your family. It’s important to take it slow when introducing a new dog to your children and do it the right way so there are no regrets and it’s a positive experience for all.
Take the proper actions and precautions, and you’ll be creating a lifetime bond between all of you. Keep in mind that your children and dog will likely all be apprehensive at first but that with the following tips, you’ll be able to create a smooth transition for everyone.
Talk to & Prepare Your Children
A good first step when introducing a new dog to your children is to talk to them and prepare them for the meeting. Explain to them that the dog might be a little nervous at first and to not make any sudden moves or loud noises. Allow them to ask questions and discuss any hesitations they’re feeling so they can feel as comfortable as possible.
Let the Dog Sniff & Use up Energy before Petting
A dog’s sense of smell is strong, and they like to sniff to get familiar with new people and their surroundings. It’s good practice to let the dog sniff you all before you go to pet it. This will help to make the dog feel more familiar with you and comfortable with your touch. Teach your children how to gently pet the dog instead of being rough with it and possibly making it feel scared or threatened. You can also use a service such as premierdogwalkers.com to get your dog out on walks and expend energy before it meets your children, so it’s less anxious.
Use A Leash & Commands
It’s also good practice to train a new dog as best you can before you introduce it to your children. With this approach you can communicate with your dog during the meeting and get it to sit or pull back, should it get too excited in the moment. Also, use a leash so you can restrain the dog and better control its actions when around your kids. It’s a good idea to also have one hand on your dog so that you can grab the collar and get it to settle down should it get too riled up.
Never Leave Them Unattended
Most importantly, it’s a good idea to never leave a new dog and your children unattended during the initial meeting. You don’t know the dog well enough at this point, and your children are still learning how to interact with a dog. You risk accidents happening if you’re not present during the first introductions that take place, so always make sure there’s adult supervision in this type of scenario.
Having a new dog around is fun but also comes with a lot of responsibility. Your children will be excited to meet the dog but remember that this is a new experience for everyone involved and to play it safe. These tips will help you to make sure the introduction goes over smoothly and that your dog and children are more likely to get along.