Remember that however gentle and well trained your pet might be they still rely on their animal instincts. They can react in unexpected ways when they are frightened or stressed. This can make animals like dogs dangerous. Children have been badly injured and even killed by family pets.
Never leave small children and pets unattended together – even for the shortest time. Even if they seem to have got used to each other there is a risk.
*Click Here* for information on introducing dogs to babies.
- Make sure your pet always has a place to go to get away from everyone when they need it.
- Teach your child from a young age that they must leave their pet alone when it goes there and when it is asleep.
- Always feed pets like dogs away from children – animals will defend their food.
- Teach your child never to go up to animals they do not know.
- It can help to play sounds of babies crying to your dog before a new baby is born. This can get you dog used to the sound and feel less stressed during periods of baby crying.
Hygiene is especially important when you have pets.
- Wash your hands and your child’s hands well every time you touch a pet and always before eating.
- Clean up any animal poo straight away and wash your hands carefully. It can harm people; especially children and pregnant women.
- Wash animal bedding regularly.
Make sure your dog is treated for fleas and worms as required – discuss this with your vet. *Click Here* to find a local vet.
Who Can Help?
Charities like PDSA, RSPCA, Dog’s Trust often have information on their website and can offer training and support.
If you are worried about your pet's behaviour, speak to your vet.
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.