Pets and Kids Safety Tips

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

Playing with a dog may be a fun activity for young kids, but if not properly supervised, it can turn dangerous, without warning.

"My little niece did get bit in the face, and it was because she was playing with the puppy. So, dogs require their own space. If you get in their space, sometimes they will snap at ya," says Dothan Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Ben Garrett.

However, if you are looking for a dog, or already have one as a pet, Dr. Garrett says there isn’t a specific breed you should or should not choose, nor is there a specific age for a child to get a dog.

Still, Dr. Garrett recommends at least teach the child safety when around the animal. "I think if you're looking to get a pet, I think it's best if you get a puppy rather than an adult dog to bring in to a family, particularly with a child. You can raise the puppy with the children. That seems to always work best," he recommends.

There are some things you can do to help keep yourself and your child safe around a dog.

First, never pull a dog's ears or tail.

Also, when you are playing with a dog, never put your face down to the dog's mouth.

For other safety tips, State Farm Insurance offers a book that teaches safety habits around dogs.

"It does give a lot of do's and don'ts about what to do when you come up with a neighbor's dog or a stray dog that may approach children," says Garrett.

But perhaps the greatest tip is to always supervise your child, and don't approach stray dogs.

Here are some tips you can use, according to State Farm Insurance:


  • Always ask the owner's permission before petting a dog.
  • Remember: not every dog that wags its tail is friendly.
  • Always approach dogs slowly and carefully.
  • When meeting a new dog, let it come to you and smell you first.
  • If a dog knocks you on the ground, curl up in a ball.
  • When a dog you don't know comes close, be very still. Stand like a tree.


  • Don't make loud noises around dogs.
  • Don't bother a dog while it is sleeping or eating.
  • Never tease a dog.
  • Never reach through a fence to pet a dog.
  • Never put your hand between two dogs.
  • Never try to help a hurt dog; get an adult to help.
  • Don't bother a mother dog when she's caring for her puppies.
  • Don't disturb a dog while it's eating.

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    • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2008 at 09:41 AM
      Any dog has its own mind. They will do what they want at any time.It doesn't matter what or how you try to train them.
    • by Anonymous Location: Dothan on Mar 14, 2008 at 06:36 AM
      Thank you for the information to help people understand dogs. Animals have minds, instincts, and reactions...they are not a machine...that makes ANY animal unpredictable. Educated people enjoy their pets more.
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