National Kids & Pets Day

National Kids and Pets Day is celebrated on April 26 every year to acknowledge the special bond children and pets share and help bring awareness to the plight of pets in shelters awaiting new homes and a second chance. It also raises awareness of the importance of choosing the right pet for children at the right time, and encourages parents to never leave small children alone with dogs and cats and other animals that have the potential to cause them harm.

HERE ARE JUST A FEW TEACHABLE MOMENTS PETS CREATE:

  • Pets teach children to be responsible, which is vital in their social development.
  • Pets teach children to be nurturing and compassionate.
  • Pets teach children to be gentle and kind.
  • Pets teach children about respect, boundaries and personal space.
  • Pets help children with learning disabilities and aid cognitive performance.
  • Pets help shy children to open up and feel more confident.
  • Pets teach children unconditional love, compassion for others, empathy and loyalty.
  • Pets play an important role in kids’ social and emotional development.
  • Pets become a presence of joy and comfort to children.
  • Pets help reduce stress levels and increase ‘happy hormones’.

TIPS ON HOW KIDS SHOULD INTERACT WITH DOGS:

  • Never approach or touch a dog you do not know.
  • Ask the owner’s permission before petting their dog and wait for the dog to approach to say hello.
  • Always approach a dog from the side.
  • Never chase a dog who is walking or running away.
  • Avoid disturbing dogs when they are eating or resting.
  • Do not grab a dog’s tail/ears, bone/treat or toy.
  • Avoid screaming near dogs.
  • Try not to hug dogs too tightly.
  • Learn to recognise when your dog is anxious or scared.
  • Avoid putting your face close to theirs.
  • Respect your dog and reward good behaviour.
  • Always be kind to pets.

Keep In Mind:

  • Small children and pets may not know their limitations and should NEVER be left alone with each other to prevent injury to both.
  • Reinforce safety tips regularly with your child. If you have a family dog at home, the same rules apply, even though you know your dog and think nothing can go wrong.
  • An adult should always oversee the care of a pet, even if they believe their child is mature and old enough to take responsibility.

Celebrate Kids & Pets Today… and every day!

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