Most children get overly excited when they see a puppy, and this excitement tends to grow when you bring a puppy into your own home. But there are certain things that you need to remind your young child about puppies for a variety of different reasons. The following are some of the basic things you need to remember to tell your child.
1. Puppies nip.
Puppies don’t realize that their nipping can actually hurt, and they won’t realize that what they’re doing isn’t nice until they’re trained. Puppies use nipping as a sign of playing, so when they nip at someone or another animal, they think they’re being playful. Make sure to remind your child that the puppy is going to nip, and they need to take their own precautions, such as not putting their fingers in the dog’s mouth or not putting their face near the puppy’s face. Most nips don’t end up drawing blood, but a strong enough nip may, and you never want your child to become injured by the dog.
2. Puppies chew.
Puppies teethe, and in order to curb the pain from teething, puppies will chew anything in sight. Yes it’s important for you to train the puppy not to chew, but it’s also important you tell your child about the dog’s love for chewing. You may want to remind your child to close the door to their room and to make sure they pick up after themselves. Otherwise, your child’s favorite toy or shoes may end up as a teething ring for the dog.
Sometimes puppies may end up chewing something they shouldn’t, and this could cause them to choke. Make sure you also teach your child to either take something your dog is chewing on away from them or teach them to tell you when the dog is chewing on something they shouldn’t. This could save the dog’s life.
3. Puppies are fragile.
Children don’t understand their strength, and it’s very important that you teach your child how to appropriately handle a puppy. Remind your child to be gentle with the new puppy, especially when hugging them. It’s also important to teach your child the appropriate way to pet the new puppy and even the proper way to hold the new puppy. Knowing this ahead of time can help keep your child from hurting your dog.
4. Puppies are dirty.
Kids are affectionate, and it’s likely your child will want to spend plenty of time cuddling with, kissing or even hugging the dog, and while this is cute, it could be harmful. Young puppies that have not been completely immunized may carry contagious diseases, such as worms. Worms can travel into the bloodstream of small children and infect them, and this can cause your child to become extremely ill. Make sure to teach your child that they need to keep their mouth away from the dog, and remind them to always wash their hands after touching or playing with the dog. This will help them stay healthy until the dog has been completely immunized.
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Dr. Susan Wright, DVM shares her love of dogs through freelance writing on topics that teach owners how to be better caregivers and friends to their loyal companions.