Both parties are likely to be very excited when meeting each other for the first time and there will be lots of energy in the room. It’s a must to prepare your children before meeting the family pet!
A good way to get ready is teaching your kids the basics of doggie language. For example – growling or barking mean it’s a good time to back away! Contact should always be gentle and kind. Teaching your children to invite their new pet to come towards them before petting, will help avoid irritation or accidents. Sometimes kids view pets as toys, so it’s essential to communicate that they are a living, breathing animal that must be respected. Getting on your pet’s level physically by bending down, is another way to decrease intimidation and nervous energy levels.
It’s a good idea to have at least two adults present on the big day. This way you can divide and conquer. One parent has their eye on the dog, while the other watches the children. If your children are very young, they should always be supervised. We recommend putting your dog on a leash to provide some control over their movement on the first face-to-face meeting. Make sure your kid’s clothes don’t have food scraps or stains on them before the introduction – this could create some unnecessary chaos!
It’s really special bringing a new pet into the family. Kicking off the relationship with good habits can help create a loving, childhood pet bond, that lasts a lifetime!