How to Make Sure Your Kids and Your Pets Get On


Pets and Kids


Every parent and animal lover wants to make sure that their children and their pets get on. Unfortunately, however, both children and pets can be quite temperamental and hard work at times.


Here’s a quick set of tips for ensuring harmony in the household between your beloved pups and your animal companions.


Let the kids know that animals aren’t people — they have different rules


Pets can certainly be members of the family, but that doesn’t mean that they become human beings. While every child will understand this on some level, they’re still liable to anthropomorphise their animal companions and make the mistake of confusing their behaviours with those of humans.


It’s your job to let your kids know that animals are different and have their own rules. They need their own food — human treats are no good for them — and they have their own ways of playing and showing affection, which might at times be confusing.


Make sure your child knows what’s “off-limits” for the pet; pulling their tail for example. Of course, contacting might be a wise idea anyway, just in case that tail pulling happens after all.


Choose a species and breed which plays well with children


Not every type of animal is going to behave the same around children, and some can be an outright hazard. A pet snake, for example, is not naturally inclined to feel, or show, love or respect towards your toddler. If left to their own devices it’s entirely possible they’d end up doing the child some harm.


Depending on the age and temperament of your child, it may be necessary to give some serious thought to which species and breed of pet is ideal. If your kid is hyper-energetic and likes to play rough, they’d likely terrify a bunny rabbit and likely not enjoy the interaction.


A friendly and bouncy Labrador, on the other hand, might be the perfect choice.


Let your child join in with the responsibilities


One of the best ways of having your child and your pet bond and get on is by teaching your child to take on the role of a good pet owner, and to get involved with the associated responsibilities.


By having them join in when you feed your pet, or brush it, or clean its cage, the pet will become more comfortable having them around. The child, in turn, will become more comfortable and conscientious when dealing with the pet.


This can also be a great way of instilling responsibility in your child from an early age, not to mention giving them a sense of which behaviours make an animal happy and which don’t.


Get your pet trained


Not all pets can be trained, but for those that can — dogs in particular — it can really pay to invest the time and money in having it done professionally. Not only can this make your life easier as the owner, but it can also make all the difference in how well your pet and child get along.


Many examples of bad pet behaviour come from authority issues. If your pet understands the hierarchy in the household they are more likely to be calm and docile.

Follow Kimberly Storms (LittleCrunchy) on Google+!


  1. This is a great article on helping your kids get along with pets.