Welcoming a new dog or cat to the family is exciting! Children tend to form a special bond with pets and how you introduce them is the first crucial step so they both feel comfortable, safe and secure. Introductions and regular daily interactions can only help in strengthening that bond.
Here are a few ideas on how to introduce a new pet to children:
Preparation is key when it is time to bring a new pet home!Whether the first meeting is in home, a pet store, adoption center or shelter,the first experience should be calm and relaxed. Creating a positive association between the pet and children will create a foundation for the days ahead. If your child is intimidated or scared of the interaction at first, help them get acquainted from far or at a distance.
Pets love a cozy safe place that just belongs to them. It could be their bed, a room, a spot under the table or a haven in the basement. Create a safe spot for your new pet and teach the child to stay away from that spot till the pet is ready to come out. Cats love any small, enclosed space they have become accustomed to. A fluffy blanket can help make it even cozier. A safe playpen or crate will be perfect for dogs or puppies. Add some treats,toys and a good meal!
Staying relaxed is very important. If your cat or dog is shy,hesitant, or scared, do not force them to interact with anyone. Give them enough space and time so they approach you when they are feeling safe. Pets can smell us fine even from far, if your child wants to befriend the pet, let them throw a treat from far instead of stretching out their hand. It is best to let your pet feel comfortable and relaxed before they are ready to meet and greet everyone in the house.
Did you get a puppy who is excited and full of energy? Help them channel that energy by creating fun activities. Fetch is a great game that will help them spend their energy. It also provides physical activity and helps them stay healthy and active. For cats there are so many toys that your children can use while maintaining a distance. Laser toy and fluffy wands are some great ways to keep your kitty engaged and busy. Cat treats can also help you get close to your cat!
For pet parents, pet safety is a priority. Our loved pets have a way of communicating with us. They use their body language to tell us when they are feeling unsafe, insecure, or sick.If your new furry friend is feeling scared or shy, give them time to settle down and provide some alone time. In the meantime, if you want to head to the nearest pet store with your furry friend, Paws en route, a GTA based pet taxi service, provides safe and timely pet transportation. Let us know if you have any questions. Book a ride with us today!