Keeping the peace between kids and pets - AmericaNowNews.com

Keeping the peace between kids and pets

  • Keeping the peace between kids and petsMore>>

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    Researchers in Finland found that babies up to a year old in homes with dogs were not only healthier overall, but also had fewer respiratory tract symptoms and fewer infections.
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Veterinarians and dog trainers say high chairs and noisy toys can trigger aggressive and playful behavior in your dogs that may cause them to harm your children, even if they don't mean to.

"Probably in the last year there have been six or seven in the United States where babies have been attacked," said Teri Ribley, the office manager at Windsor Animal Hospital.

After a tragic incident in South Carolina when a baby was killed by the family dog, experts say that pet safety is very important in a home.

Pet experts say all attacks don't always start the same way. Sometimes something as simple as a bouncing chair can get their attention.

"The best of dogs can get highly aroused, this may not have started as an aggressive attack, it may have just gotten aroused by the movement," said Ribley.

There are ways you can cut down on the chances of a dangerous incident between your family dog and a child.

"The dog should be desensitized to anything that's new in the house - whether it's a crib, or a high chair or swing set or whatever it might be so the dog isn't startled or surprised by it," says Drew Neubauer, trainer and owner of Gray Oak Boarding & Training.

Drew Neubauer has been training and boarding dogs for several years and says every dog in a family with children needs to be trained.

He says parents should see how the dog reacts to certain toys and moving chairs without the child there, and then be trained to stay away from the child's items.

"They should have a place where they are safe and they're comfortable and the same as we don't want the dog in the child's space, we don't want the child in the dogs space," said Neubauer.

Neubauer says the family dog should have its own crate or bed area in the home.

Overall, pet experts suggest all families with small children take their dogs to obedience classes to prevent the dog from accidentally harming the child.

"They should never be put in the position to cause that type of damage. While the dog is the end all result to blame for the situation, it's as much the human owners fault as the dogs," said Neubauer.

Dog experts say it's important the dog owners stay in control of the family pets.

 "A new parent who is pushing a stroller and walking the dog, the dog should be behind the stroller, the human should go first, and the dog follows. If the dog's pulling ahead, then he's the leader of that pack," said Ribley.

Another way to prevent harmful incidents between your family pet and your child is to keep the dog contained in a crate or even a child gate.

The best advice - dog experts say parents should always keep an eye on their children when their family dog is around.

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