Many families have pets and this can help teach children kindness and develop their social skills.
Children like to kiss and cuddle and get close to animals but this is not how animals show love. They may find it frightening and bite or scratch.
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.
In The Home
Hygiene is especially important when you have pets.
Make sure your pet is treated for fleas and worms as required – discuss this with your vet. *Click Here* to find a local vet.
Charities like PDSA, RSPCA, Dog’s Trust often have information on their websites 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 07520 631590. 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.